WHAT ARE INDUSTRIAL ROBOTS?
An industrial robot is a multifunctional manipulator that may be programmed in three or more axes and is controlled by an automated control system that is reprogrammable.
The subject of industrial robotics may be described more realistically as the research, design, and use of robot systems in the manufacturing industry (a top-level definition relying on the prior definition of the robot).
Welding, painting, ironing, assembling, picking, and place, palletizing, product inspection, and testing are just a few of the many uses for industrial robots, all of which are performed with great endurance, speed, and accuracy by these machines. Among the most often seen industrial automation robot configurations are articulated robots, SCARA robots, and gantry robots, among others.
Structures of Industrial Robots
Industrial robots are usually some kind of joint structure, which may be configured in a variety of ways to suit the application. The robot industry has established categories for the most prevalent types of robots, which are as follows:
- Parallel (or Delta)
These structures, as well as the advantages they provide, are explained in more depth below. The structures are created by the interconnection of several rotational and/or linear movements, or joints, with one another. Each of the joints offers mobility that, when combined, allows the robot structure, or robot arm, to be positioned in a particular position on the robot platform.
Six joints, or six degrees of freedom, often referred to as six axes, are required to allow a robot to position a tool placed on the end of the robot at any location and any angle. The working envelope is the volume in which the robot can operate. For example, this is shown as the volume of space accessible by the fifth axis at its midpoint.
As a result, the robot may place a tool at any angle anywhere inside the operating area. Among the factors that determine the working envelope of a robot arm are its structure, the lengths of each arm element, as well as the types of movements and ranges that may be accomplished by each joint. To see the envelope, look at it from the side.
A cross-section of the envelope may be seen by moving the two main axes, 2 and 6, and a plan view shows how the cross-section changes when the first axis is shifted. It’s also important to keep in mind that attaching any tools to the robot will change the size of the envelope the robot and tool can access.
A polar-type machine was assigned to the first robot, the Unimate. For the robot’s hydraulic drive, this concept worked well. To place the tool carried by the robot in a specific location, the robot had five axes of motion or joints that could be manipulated.
A base rotation, a shoulder rotation, an arm movement in and out, and two wrist rotations made up these movements. The robot’s capacity to position the tool was limited because of the availability of just five axes. Control technology was inadequate to fulfill the requirements of six-axis machines in the beginning.
Industrial robots contain Arm with Flexibility
The jointed or articulated arm is the most frequent design. This is extremely flexible and mimics the human arm closely. As the name implies, these machines have six axes, although seven-axis machines are also available, which provide redundancy and therefore make it easier to work in confined areas.
There are six rotating joints in all, each one attached to the one before it. They can place a tool in any orientation in any location inside the working envelope and achieve a particular point in more than one configuration.
Two articulated arms placed on the same framework are being developed for dual-arm robots as well. To imitate a human’s two hands while doing activities like assembly (which requires two hands to work together), these arms may cooperate.
Industrial robots contain SCARA
The SCARA configuration alters the articulating arm’s properties. The Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm was initially designed for assembly applications, thus the name. In addition to the base rotation, the four-axis arm moves in two rotational directions in the same vertical plane.
Because of the design, the arm has a high degree of vertical rigidity while simultaneously providing some horizontal compliance. Because of its high top speed and acceleration, it’s ideal for racing.
Industrial robots contain Cartesian
Robots that use solely linear drives for their three main axes and move by a cartesian coordinate system may be classified as being cartesian robots. Although certain specialized variants have been created with an extra rotational axis placed on the final linear axis, these devices are typically restricted to three axes.
Gantry machines and linear pick and place devices fall under this cartesian classification. These machines may be built in a variety of ways, including modular kits, which give designers more freedom in creating a machine that meets a particular need.
Goalpost-style gantries support themselves on a single framework, whereas area gantries have two support systems. The longitude and latitude of the main axis may vary widely. Gantries are also capable of 3000 kg of weight, making them very hefty.
Gantries also have the advantage of minimizing the effect on the factory floor and manual access to equipment because they are located mostly in the air. In contrast to articulated arm robots, however, these machines are typically far more costly to buy.
Industrial robots contain Parallel
One of the most recent advances in industrial robots design is the parallel or delta arrangement. This includes machines that have prismatic and rotary joints in their arms at the same time. These machines were designed to be placed on the ceiling and have motors built into the base construction that drives a series of connected arms.
This method has the advantage of reducing the overall weight of the arms, allowing for very high acceleration and speed capabilities. However, their payload capacity is very limited, at about 8 kilograms.
Because of this, selecting is the most common use, especially on packaging lines in the food sector. With the quickest machine passing the goalpost test in 0.3 seconds (25, 300, 25 mm), these machines can reach comparable cycle speeds to the SCARAs.
Industrial robots contain Cylindrical
Rotating axes at the base are followed by vertical and horizontal linear axes, with additional rotary axes at the wrist, on industrial robots. Because of its solid construction and simple programming and visualization, they’re great for getting into crevices. There is nevertheless a space needed at the back of the arm for these devices. They are best suited for tasks like machine maintenance and basic pick-and-place work.
Their primary market is electronics manufacturing, especially in clean rooms, where they account for approximately 2% of worldwide sales. Their popularity is largely based on the fact that the electronics industry dominates Asia, with approximately 90% of worldwide sales taking place in that area.
Success in industrial robots is all about compounding. To promote adoption, it’s riding the exponential curves in robot-related sectors. Technology innovation inside the industry is difficult, but when you use technologies from “outside” sectors, the possibilities are almost endless. Currently, robotics is only getting started.