When to Choose Another Type of Industrial Robot Over an Articulated Robot

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Articulated robots are just one of the many types of industrial robots. Even though they represent one category of industrial robotic arms they are the most utilized for robotic automation. This is because generally the FANUC M-20ia and other articulated robots are capable of automating the most types of applications. Their six to seven axis configurations provide a full range of motion allowing them to access work areas from any angle. In addition, six axis robots are available in a wide variety of sizes, reaches, and payloads, making it more likely robotic users will find an articulated robot for their specific application.

Just because articulated robot manipulators are incredibly common for robotic automation does not mean they will always be the best option for any application. There are instances in which an articulated robot may be too much for a process or not the best fit. Ultimately, the requirements of the application you are looking to automate will determine which type of robot you should choose. Application type, reach, payload, workspace, speed, and complexity are all factors to consider when selecting an industrial robot. Below is a guide about when other types of industrial robotic manipulators should be considered over articulated industrial robot arms.

When to Use a Delta Robot

Delta robots also known as parallel or spider robots are the fastest type of industrial robot. They feature a domed robot body with multiple robotic arms that extend downward in a parallelogram design. These handling robots are small with light payloads and shorter reaches. Their unique design allows them to operate with fast, agile movements while still providing incredible accuracy. Due to the size and payload limitations, the FANUC M-1ia along with other delta robots are best used when automating low payload pick and place, assembly, or packaging applications. Delta robots operate overhead which is ideal for those with limited floorspace.

When to Use a SCARA Robot

SCARA robots are another type of fast and compact robot. SCARA robots feature four axes which work in a combination of rigid and flexible movements. The FANUC SR-6ia and other SCARA robots are ideal for automating assembly, pick and place, and part handling applications that only require simple movements without complete part orientation. For simple assembly processes the FANUC SR-3ia will be more accurate and affordable than the articulated FANUC LR Mate 200ic. However, for more complex assemblies a full range of motion will be needed which would require an articulated assembly robot.

When to Use a Gantry Robot

Gantry or cartesian robots feature a linear axis system. With these robots the robotic manipulator is mounted to an overhead track that allows the manufacturing robot arm to move linearly. These robots tend to be more cost effective than articulated robots when automating simple material handling applications that may require large work areas or heavy payloads.

When to Use a Collaborative Robot

Collaborative robots or cobots are ideal for those looking for an intuitive automation solution that can still interact with workers for light payload processes. The Universal UR5 can safely operate around humans making it best for performing tasks that cannot be fully automated. The short changeover times of cobots also makes them best for automating low volume, high mix operations.

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