May 31, 2023
FANUC held “The 32nd FANUC New Products Open House Show” at its headquarters in Oshino-mura, Yamanashi Prefecture, for three days from May 15 to 17. The event was pre-registered and was held in four sessions per day. Each session attracted a large number of visitors.
FANUC develops industrial robots, machine tools, machine tool controllers, servo motors and other products. At the show, the company displayed a variety of products in the Nature Hall at its headquarters, showcasing a number of new products and technologies in each of its product areas.
In the robotics area, there were many exhibits of collaborative robots (cobots). Among them, a cobot capable of handling a maximum weight of 50 kg was unveiled and attracted much attention.
The 50 kg payload demonstration with the cobot “CR-35iB” was an example of a windshield installation task on a car. While applying adhesive to the outer surface of the windshield, the robot pointed its wrist upward with a large windshield attached to the end of its arm. The exhibit showed that it is capable of handling heavy objects, even while pointing upward, with no restrictions on wrist posture.
In the exhibit of the “CRX Series” cobot, which is easy to operate even for those not very familiar with robots, palletizing/depalletizing was demonstrated using the “CRX-25iA”, which can handle up to 30 kg. With its long reach, the robot can load and unload freely from high to low positions. Due to the robot’s structure, it can easily get stuck in a singularity when placing an object in a low position, which becomes uncontrollable. However, with the newly added “palletizing mode”, the singularity can be avoided, allowing the robot to be easily used for palletizing.
Another exhibit showed a palletizing/depalletizing system using a new medium-size industrial robot that was not a collaborative type. The robot on display was the “M-710iD/50M”, which features a large bend on the root side of the arm. The bend prevents the arm from touching the edge of the basket when placing an object on a deep basket cart from above. The “M-710iD” is the successor of the “M-710iC” and the first time in 17 years that this model has been redesigned. The M-710iD is combined with an Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) to automate the basket cart transport in the demonstration system.
FANUC is not only a manufacturer of industrial robots, but also of machine tools and machine tool controllers. Taking advantage of this strength, the company also proposed a combination of machine tools and robots.
Using the CRX cobot series, the robot performed the removal and attachment of an object to be machined in two ways: with a collet chuck, which holds a bar-shaped object so that it is enclosed, and with a 3-jaw chuck, which grips a cylindrical object with its jaws. Even without an external force sensor, the robot can correct errors in the orientation of the workpiece, and it also detects the bite of any foreign objects.
Also on display was technology that easily connects a machine tool controller to a robot via an Ethernet cable, allowing the robot to be controlled using G-code, which is normally used to control machine tools.
In addition, a variety of robot systems, including the “M-1000iA,” a 1-ton payload robot that won a Good Design Award last year, were also on display and attracted the attention of visitors.
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