Handling operations are now the most popular application for industrial robot purchases, representing 52% of UK installations in 2021. But as well as speed and dexterity, today’s manufacturers are also looking to maintain rigorous hygiene standards when automating their handling applications.
To this end, FANUC has launched two new ultra-hygienic additions to its SCARA pick-and-place robot range: the cleanroom-standard, pedestal-mounted SR-3iA/C 3-axis and SR-6iA/C 4-axis robots. Ideal for replacing manual labour in handling tasks, they also boast novel anti-contamination features, meeting the highest safety and hygiene standards in even the most challenging food, pharma and general manufacturing settings.
Standing for Selective Compliance Articulated Robot Arm, the latest SCARA models from FANUC sport a white epoxy coating as opposed to the yellow usually associated with the brand. This is not an aesthetic choice; the white coating provides extra durability. Certified to IP54-rated levels of protection against ingress of water, dust or other contaminants, the new models are perfectly suited for use in situations that require thorough clean down, also meeting ISO Class 5 cleanroom standards. Specially designed bellows that protect the critical spindle during cleaning eliminate another potential hygiene headache for operators, while NSF-H1 certified grease and anti-rust bolts are also available.
Besides their ultra-hygienic properties, the new SCARA models also offer a compact footprint, allowing for the integration of smaller workcells with no loss of performance. Their 360° envelope allows integrators to exploit the full reach of the robots within smaller cells, also minimising physical interference with nearby devices or work areas. Services including power supply, solenoid valves and pneumatic airlines are fully integrated within the robot arm, further helping to reduce interference contours and snagging.
Despite its compact footprint, the SR-3iA/C boasts a 3kg payload, a 400mm reach and a maximum push-down force of 150 Newtons. Meanwhile, the SR-6iA/C has a 6kg payload, a 650mm reach and a maximum push-down force of 200 Newtons. High speed comes as standard with both models, too. Depending on the application, up to 120 cycles/minute is possible, with no loss of precision: the robots are accurate to ±0.01mm in the linear axes and 0.004O wrist rotation. The wrist also offers ±720O of motion and 3,000O/second speed, with continuous rotation as an option.
FANUC’s SR-3iA/C and SR-6iA/C are also completely compatible with the company’s latest R-30iB Compact Plus controller. The web-based user interface, which employs FANUC iRProgrammer software, delivers fast, intuitive, platform-independent set-up capabilities, with teaching and programming provided via a tablet or PC.
Average power consumption is 0.25kWh in the case of the SR-3iA/C, and 0.35kWh for the SR-6iA/C, running on 200-230V single-phase power supply. Both robots are fully equipped for standard, static operations but can, optionally, be fitted with fully integrated FANUC iRVision visual detection and iRPickTool systems for intelligent tracking of goods on a moving conveyor.