FANUC, the factory automation and CNC control systems specialist, has strengthened its commitment to R&D with the launch of four new products in the first half of 2022.
The new releases are: An advanced version of the RoboDrill, the α-DiB Plus – a 5-axis machining centre; the R-2000iC/190S high-precision machining robot; the ceiling-mounted SR-3iA/U robot and the latest version of the CR-35iB collaborative robot.
“FANUC’s global success has been built on technological innovation, with a strong commitment to R&D. Over a third of our 8,000 employees are involved in the research and development of leading-edge products,” says Tom Bouchier, managing director of FANUC UK. “We are excited about our latest models, which offer manufacturers even higher levels of functionality and extended capabilities. The main principles of FANUC’s product development are to increase the reliability of products, use fewer parts and cut costs. These four new models deliver on those principles, in practical and easy-to-use ways.”
Developed in response to customer demand, the RoboDrill α-DiB Plus 5-axis machining centre boasts higher spindle torque, intelligent feed control and support for punch tapping.
Delivering up to 100Nm of force – 70% more than the standard version – it is equipped with intelligent functionality that enables it to sense and react to a rise in torque, such as when encountering a steel insert in a carbon fibre structure. The machine will automatically reduce its feed rate to avoid overload and consequent stoppage, while its Emuge Punch Tap tool thread with less rotation cuts tapping time by 75%.
“Available in standard and advanced versions, the RoboDrill α-DiB Plus is an innovative response to customer needs for intelligent, responsive equipment for today’s lighter materials and components,” Mr Bouchier comments.
The R-2000iC/190S 6-axis articulated arm robot has been designed to deliver high-accuracy component machining, even of challenging materials such as light alloys, aluminium and wood. With a payload of 190kg and a reach of 2,040mm, tasks such as drilling and piercing are well within its capabilities.
FANUC has enabled the development of this high precision multi-axis machine through designing, from the ground up, a robot calibrated to deliver absolute accuracy, with iRCalibration Signature technology as standard. The company calibrates every R-2000iC/190S after manufacture, with extremely precise laser tracking. Additional sensors help the robot itself to compensate for distortions caused by the process, leading to outstanding linear and circular accuracy in production. Furthermore, it is designed and produced with high in-built stiffness, for increased accuracy in high-speed applications and tight curves.
Up top robotics
The FANUC SR-3iA/U is a ceiling-mounted, fast and precise Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm (SCARA) robot; an easy to configure, cost-effective solution for a wide range of assembly, packaging and materials handling applications. One of its key features is its ability to allow access to the whole of its cylindrical working area, thus eliminating ‘dead zones’ that traditional SCARA robot arms are unable to reach. Full access is available in either linear or Cartesian mode.
“The new FANUC SR-3iA/U four-axis SCARA robot has a 700mm working diameter, or 350mm reach, which is close to many delta robots,” Mr Bouchier explains. “Its abilities, plus the fact that delta robots are generally a lot more expensive, makes it a very attractive solution for production lines. What’s more, it has a smaller frame size than a typical delta, consumes far less energy and has services fully integrated within its arms.”
Strong but lightweight
Finally, the CR-35iB is the latest version of the world’s strongest collaborative robot. FANUC says it is especially proud of achieving a 62% weight reduction while retaining full functionality, shortening installation times and improving portability.
As it does not require a levelling plate or base to counter floor surface inconsistency, the CR-35iB cobot can be floor mounted, while its lighter weight means it is also suitable for motion rails and with mobile robots. Elimination of the pedestal has the additional advantage of reducing its height by 433mm, from 2,288mm to 1,855mm.
As well as being lighter and more transportable, the CR-35iB boasts a larger range of motion. The J2 axis has been extended from 165o to 215o and J5 axis wrist swing has been raised from 220o to 280o. Its reach is 1,831mm – almost the same as its height – and it can move at 750mm/sec. Featuring FANUC’s ultra-safe Contract Stop Protection and DCS (Dual Check Safety) technology, it is ideally suited for applications including material handling and transfer, machine tending and any task that involves heavy lifting and close interaction with human operatives.
“FANUC continuously strives to improve manufacturing process efficiency,” concludes Mr Bouchier. “Our mission is summarised in the company’s statement: ‘Reliable, Predictable and Easy to Repair. As 99.9% of parts that make up our products are produced by FANUC, we are able to deliver high-quality solutions with longer lifecycles and service intervals, easier integration, and automation set-ups guaranteed to run reliably.”