Advantages of Small Robots
Small industrial robots are one of the biggest trends in robotic automation. The growth of small robots is attributed to the rate at which manufacturers are automating their operations. Small robots are able to automate processes that are not feasible with a large robot. There are a number of advantages to automating with a FANUC Lr Mate 200ic and other small robots. These include:
- • Lower Cost - The cost of small industrial robots tends to be lower than their larger counterparts. Due to their compact size, less material is used to build them resulting in lower upfront costs. The affordability of small industrial robotic arms allows manufacturers with tight budgets or lower production volumes to be able to justify the cost to implement robotic automation.
- • Installation Flexibility - The compact size and light mass of small factory robots allows them to be installed in a variety of mounting options. In addition to floor mounting, most small robotic manipulators can be tabletop, overhead, or wall mounted. Some, like the Universal UR10, can even be installed directly into machinery. This allows manufacturers to create the best layout for their production.
- • Operate in Confined Spaces - Small manufacturing robot arms are designed with compact footprints and short reaches. This allows them to automate tasks involving confined work areas that large robots would not be able to fit in let alone operate in. The FANUC M-10ia/10S is ideal for operating in narrow work areas due to its size and short reach.
- • Faster Operating Speeds - The size of small industrial robot arms also allows for faster operating speeds than larger robots. All articulated robots operate at significantly faster speeds than humans, but small robot manipulators are some of the fastest. Small robots are built with lighter components which allows them to accelerate more quickly. Faster operating speeds mean more productivity and shorter cycle times.
- • Save Floorspace - The size of small robots is one of their biggest advantages because they take up less floorspace than other industrial robots. Small six axis robots do not need large work areas which allows them to be installed in small factories or anywhere with limited space.
- • Less Risk of Interference - With small robots there is less risk of interference from surrounding peripherals. Their compact footprint and short reach mean even in tight spaces they will have enough room to operate. Small robots can also operate in close proximity to one another without interference or collisions, making multi-robot workcells or production lines possible.
- • Energy Efficient - Today’s industrial robots are all built with energy efficiency in mind, however, small assembly robots are the most energy efficient. Less energy is consumed with small robots since they are limited to handling light payloads. Light payloads require less power. In addition, some small robots can operate solely on battery power.
- • Safer - All robots are designed or integrated with safety features to minimize safety risks for humans sharing the same floorspace. Small robots can be safer than others since their light mass allows them to have faster response times and softer impacts should collisions occur. The FANUC CR-7ia is a small collaborative robot that will stop operating immediately when it senses contact with an object or human.