Advantages of Cleanroom Robots
Cleanroom environments are those that must maintain a controlled level of contamination. Limiting the number of airborne particles is crucial for those industries that manufacture extremely sensitive products. However, defining stringent cleanliness standards is easier than maintaining them or at least in the past this was the case. Today many industries operating cleanroom environments are adopting industrial robots to help maintain controlled contamination levels. It is not just any industrial robot arm being used but ones specifically designed for cleanroom automation like the FANUC LR Mate 200id/7LC. Cleanroom robots feature stainless steel hardware, special grease, sealed hardware, protective coatings, and internal vacuums. All of these features not only allow cleanroom articulated robots to operate in environments with stringent cleanliness standards, but also provide a number of advantages.
- • Eradicate Human Contamination - Implementing cleanroom factory robots can eradicate the human contamination factor. Cleanroom robot manipulators can significantly reduce the amount of personnel working in cleanroom facilities by automating tasks. No matter how much protective gear workers wear it is nearly impossible to prevent human contamination. One person can shed hundreds of thousands of particles in just a single hour. The less human involvement there is the easier it will be to maintain a proper contamination level.
- • Easier to Maintain Cleanroom Standards - Reducing the number of humans involved is one way the FANUC M-2ia and other cleanroom robotic manipulators make it easier to control contamination levels. The other is with their special features. Stainless steel hardware is more sanitary and prevents electrostatic discharge. Sealing the hardware prevents the build up of dirt and other particles within the hardware crevices. The protective coating prevents rust and allows the handling robots to be thoroughly washed down. Their internal vacuum prevents them from emitting particles while operating. Less grease is used for their joints and the type of grease is non-gassing, preventing the emission of vapors from the industrial robotic arm.
- • Reduces Sanitization Equipment - Cleanroom facilities that do not use manufacturing robot arms need a considerable amount of sanitization equipment to combat the contaminants that are constantly being emitted by workers and other equipment. However, automating cleanroom facilities with robots reduces the amount of sanitization equipment as robots cause significantly less contamination. This helps to reduce the overall cost of operating a cleanroom facility.
- • Streamlines Operations - With less equipment and personnel needed, cleanroom operations become more streamlined. Six axis robots are fast and efficient with the ability to handle the workload of several workers. With fewer people and machines involved, cleanroom environments can be better controlled as there is less chance for the introduction of particles. Floorspace is freed up as well, allowing for workstations to be more spread out, reducing the risk of any cross contamination from occurring.
- • Prevents Product Damage - Products manufactured in cleanroom environments are extremely sensitive to dust, vapors, and moisture. If any of those occur parts can be compromised and damaged leading to the consumption of more materials, rework, and costly recalls. Automating with cleanroom robots prevents products from becoming damaged as robots mitigate the risk of cleanroom environments exceeding their controlled contamination levels.