Overview of Industrial Robot Applications

FANUC R2000ib 125L R30ia Motoman MA1400 FANUC M710ic 50 Motoman HP6 NX100 FANUC Arcmate 120ic

Industrial robots are capable of automating a wide range of processes. Below is an overview of the most common applications for robots.

  • • Assembly - Tasks automated by assembly robots include inserting small parts into larger components, dispensing adhesives, bonding or glueing parts together, drilling holes, and screwdriving. Assembly robots are common in the automotive, aerospace, and electrics industries. Factory robots used to automate assembly processes include articulated, SCARA, and collaborative robots. The FANUC LR Mate 200id is ideal for assembly automation.

  • • Welding - Welding is one of the most popular applications for industrial robots. Articulated six-axis robots are typically used for welding automation. The Yaskawa Motoman MA1400 is ideal for performing arc welding processes including MIG, TIG, and plasma welding. While the ABB IRB 6640 is well suited for spot welding. Other welding applications automated by robots include laser, electron beam, and ultrasonic welding.

  • • Material Removal - Cutting, deburring, deflashing, milling, and routing are all material removal processes that can be automated by industrial robots. Material removal robots are integrated with tooling that allows them to remove excess material or separate workpieces. Six-axis robots tend to be best for material removal automation given their full range of motion.

  • • Painting - Painting processes automated by robots include spraying paint onto workpieces, coating workpieces with substrates, and applying sealants. Painting robots typically feature explosion proof arms that allow them to work with the flammable chemicals often involved with these processes.

  • • Finishing - Finishing applications are used to improve the final appearance of a product. These include grinding, buffing, sanding, and polishing. The FANUC M-20ia is ideal for automating finishing applications with its high repeatability and accuracy.

  • • Material Handling - Material handling processes automated by robots include part transfer, pick and place, part positioning, and sorting. Material handling robots are usually integrated with a gripper and may also use a robotic vision system. These applications can be automated with articulated, delta, gantry, and collaborative robots.

  • • Packing - Packaging, palletizing, and depalletizing are all applications automated by robots in the packing category. These processes can involve heavy lifting and repetitive movements making them best for robotic automation. Articulated and gantry robots may be used to automate most packing processes. While lighter packing applications can be automated by delta and collaborative industrial robotic arms.

  • • Machine Tending - Machine tending robots are tasked with loading, positioning, and unloading parts from fixed machinery such as CNC machines. Articulated, SCARA, gantry, and collaborative robots can be used to automate machine tending processes. Machine tending robots are becoming increasingly more popular as manufacturers look to combat worker shortages and improve the efficiency of their productions.

  • • Molding - Injection molding and die casting processes both involve working with molten material and high temperatures making them ideal for robotic automation. Robot manipulators can automate the dispensing of liquids into molds, the unloading of molds and casts from machinery, the removal workpieces from molds, as well as the trimming of excess material.

  • • Quality Control - Industrial robot arms are becoming increasingly more popular for performing quality control measures such as inspection and product testing. Robotic manipulators can thoroughly inspect parts for defects, measure dimensions, and test products. Robotic inspection ensures quality and consistency across all products.

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