Selecting the Right Robot for Your Application
It is no secret industrial manufacturers rely on robots for their production processes. Robots are performing many different types of robotic applications across numerous industries. When deciding to automate a manufacturing process it is important to determine if your application will be a good fit for your robot and vice versa for maximized gains. Selecting the best robot for your robotic application is key for ensuring success and for capitalizing on the full benefits.
The first step for determining if a robot will be a good fit for you is to have a clear definition of your application. In other words, what is the issue you are looking to solve? For instance, maybe you have been having problems finding skilled welders and your productions have slowed due to worker shortages. Deploying a FANUC Arc Mate 100ic would be an ideal fit since it is designed for completing arc welding processes with accuracy and precision, solving your welder skills gap. Defining the process you are looking to automate is vital to selecting the best robot for you. Industrial robots are categorized by the applications they can perform, narrowing down your options. When defining your application, be specific about each task or step involved. One Industrial robot can cover multiple application types and can be integrated with tool changers for automatic EOAT switching between applications. Having a FANUC M20ia transfer parts from a bin to a work station and then assembling those parts increases efficiency, reduces cycle times, and is cost-effective. One robot can perform multiple steps instead of purchasing robots for each task.
Understanding the steps of your robotic application will also help you determine if you will need a robot that is integrated with additional equipment. Track systems, robotic grippers, robotic tooling, welding equipment, and tool changers may be necessary and dependent upon the type of application. For those automating welding processes, a power source, welding torch, and wire feeder are needed in addition to the welding robot. While a track system may be needed to allow a FANUC R2000ib to travel hundreds of feet for part transfer tasks.
Once you have identified the application you are looking to automate, the next step is to outline the application parameters. This will help you determine what specific features you will need in a robot such as an extended reach, high payload, vision system, or force sensor technology. If your application involves the lifting of workpieces over 200 kilograms, then a heavy payload robot will be needed. If your application is more advanced requiring the locating, identifying, or removal of material, then vision or force sensors will need to be integrated with the robot.
It is also important to evaluate the work environment of your robotic application when searching for a robot. Not all robots are built for every work setting. Applications taking place in cleanroom facilities will require a robot that is designed to meet those stringent standards. While those environments prone to extreme dust will require a robot with at least an IP67 rating. The FANUC M710ic/50 is an example of a robot built for hazardous environments as its IP67 rating ensures it is protected from water and dust intrusion. Deploying a robot that is not compatible with your work environment will compromise the success of your application.