FANUC R2000ib 165F R30ia

Pre-Configured Robotic Workcells

Pre-configured workcells are robotic workcells that have been pre-built and assembled with components selected by the manufacturer. Pre-configured workcells arrive at factories already put together for minimal installation. Other common terms used to describe these workcells include turnkey, pre-engineered, and modular cells.

Pre-configured workcells significantly decrease the customization involved with designing robotic workcells. These workcells include all common robotic components such as the industrial robot, safety barriers, safety devices, end-effector, peripheral equipment, and the operator station. Pre-configured workcells are designed for specific types of applications, so the exact type of robotic manipulator and equipment in the cell will depend upon what application it is designed for. Pre-configured workcells for welding are the most common. A pre-configured weld cell could include the FANUC Arcmate 120ic, a weld torch, the Lincoln Powerwave i400 as the power supply, wire feeder, reamer, positioner, and a safety package. Other pre-configured workcells include those designed for automated assembly, machine loading, dispensing, palletizing, picking, inspection, and screwdriving applications.

While most robotic equipment is already selected, most pre-configured workcell manufacturers do offer some options that allow buyers to have some customization in their pre-configured workcell. These options often include upgrading the industrial robot arm or positioner type, adding additional robot manipulators, or upgrading the safety devices. However, for the most part customization is very limited as the main purpose of pre-configured robotic workcells is to avoid additional engineering.

Pre-configured workcells are becoming more and more common. Manufacturers find these types of robotic workcells very appealing due to their short lead times and quick installation. Since pre-configured workcells are an off the shelf solution, they can typically be shipped quickly. Time to plan, select components, and design the workcell is avoided unlike with a custom workcell. Since pre-configured workcells arrive pre-assembled they can be installed within a day. A customized workcell can take a week or more to install as the cell is typically built on-site. With pre-configured workcells users can be up and running quickly. Pre-configured robotic workcells also offer standardized programming which means users do not have to program the entire workcell from scratch.

Another reason for the appeal of pre-configured workcells is they are less expensive than a customized workcell. On average, pre-configured workcells cost 25% less than a customized cell. Purchasing a used pre-configured workcell can save buyers even more. Limiting the customization and engineering required really drives down the price of the robotic workcell, making it affordable to a wider customer base. Manufacturers both small and large are implementing pre-configured workcells. They are especially beneficial to small manufacturers with a low product volume and a high mix of parts. The faster and easier setup reduces integration time. This allows companies to be able to justify the cost of a pre-configured workcell.

Many of the top robotic companies manufacturer their own pre-configured workcells or work with other companies to design pre-configured workcells for their six axis robots. FANUC does not design their own pre-configured workcells but works with Genesis and Lincoln for turnkey weld cells. The FANUC Arcmate 100ic is one of the robotic manipulator offered in Genesis and Lincoln weld cells. Yaskawa Motoman, KUKA, and ABB each manufacture their own lines of pre-configured cells.

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