Applications for SCARA Robots

FANUC SR-6ia Scara Robot
SCARA robots, which stands for Selective Compliance Articulated Robot Arm, have been automating manufacturing since the early 1980s. SCARA robots are one of the smaller types of industrial robots. They feature a jointed two link arm that is designed to resemble the human arm. However, the arm can only operate on a single plane, allowing for extension and retracting movements. Due to their more limited mobility, SCARA robots are considered to be a more specialized robot especially when compared to the versatile articulated industrial robot. This means SCARA robots cannot automate any given application, only specific types. While they may be restricted in what applications they can automate, they will excel at the ones they can.


  • Assembly/Disassembly - When SCARA robots were first developed, the original intention was for them to solely be used for assemblies and disassemblies. In fact, their name use to stand for Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm. Their selective compliance design, a combination of flexible and rigid axes, allows them to automate simple assemblies more easily than other robots as they do not need complex programming. The FANUC SR-3ia can quickly insert parts together for automated assembly applications. Automating assemblies with SCARA robots reduces cycle times while improving quality with their precision.

  • Pick and Place - SCARA robots tend to be the most cost-effective and fastest robot option for pick and place automation. While delta robots are technically faster the minimal setup of SCARA robots gives them the edge.

  • Dispensing - SCARA robots can be used to automate dispensing applications. Dispensing often involves simple up and down motions making it ideal for SCARA robot automation. The selective compliance of SCARAs ensure accurate material dispersement.

  • 3D Printing - For small scale 3D printing, SCARA robots are ideal for automation. Their fast speeds allow for items to be quickly printed. SCARA 3D printing robots are becoming more and more prevalent.

  • Engraving - The development of laser embedded engraving devices for robotic EOATs has allowed for the automation of engraving processes. The precision, accuracy, and small size of SCARA robots makes them well-suited for taking on engraving applications.

  • Material Handling - Light payload material handling applications are also ideal for automation with SCARA robots. The FANUC SR-12ia can automate packaging processes. Palletizing, bin picking, and labeling are other handling processes commonly automated with SCARA robots.

  • Machine Tending - The compact size and option for tabletop mounting allow SCARA robots to easily automate machine tending applications. Their compact arm allows them to easily reach into machinery and operate around them. SCARA robots can tend injection molds, CNCs, and presses along with other common forms of manufacturing machinery.

Why Choose to Automate with SCARA Robots?

You may be wondering why choose a FANUC Sr-6ia over the articulated FANUC LR Mate 200id to automate any of the above applications. While these processes can be automated by other types of robots, they often require great precision and speed which can be met with SCARA automation. Automating small, high-speed, non-complex processes will be more cost-effective and result in higher quality with SCARA industrial robots.

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