Why Automate with a Cleanroom Robot

FANUC R2000ib 125L R30ia Motoman MA1400 FANUC M710ic 50 Motoman HP6 NX100 FANUC Arcmate 120ic
There are some industries or products that require a cleanroom environment. A cleanroom environment in manufacturing is one in which levels of airborne dust, vapors, particles, and moisture are controlled to specific levels. The level of controlled contamination varies by cleanroom facility as some require greater control than others. In the past, cleanroom environments have mainly relied on manual labor. However, even with protective equipment and regular cleaning it has proved difficult to maintain the strict contamination levels required by cleanrooms when people are involved. This has led to the growth of cleanroom robots.

Cleanroom factory robots are those that have been specially designed to operate in environments with strict cleanliness standards. Cleanroom industrial robot arms feature stainless steel hardware, sealed bearings, non-gassing lubricants, internal vacuums, and protective coverings. The cleanroom features of the FANUC Lr Mate 200id/7LC ensure it can safely operate in cleanroom facilities without contaminating the work environment.

Reasons to Automate with a Cleanroom Robot

Automating with a cleanroom robotic manipulator will improve manufacturing without increasing the risk of harming the sensitive work environment. Below are some of the main reasons manufacturers are automating with cleanroom articulated robots.

  • • Prevent Contamination - The most common reason for manufacturers operating facilities with high cleanliness standards to automate with a cleanroom industrial robotic arm is to prevent contamination. Even with protective gear it is nearly impossible to prevent contamination from occurring when humans are working in cleanrooms. Humans can shed 600,000 particles per hour, so the best way to control a cleanroom environment is to significantly reduce or eliminate entirely the human factor. The features of the ABB IRB 120 ensure it does not contaminate the work environment. Cleanroom six axis robots make controlling contamination levels easier with their design and they never leave the facility ensuring no new contaminants are brought in.

  • • Prevent ESD - Some products manufactured in cleanroom environments are sensitive to electrostatic discharge (ESD). This is particularly critical in the manufacturing of electronic devices. Cleanroom industrial robots feature sealed hardware and other non-conductive materials which prevent electric charges from being emitted from the robot. Protecting against ESD prevents electronics from shorting out during manufacturing, reducing scrap and rework.

  • • Reduces Sanitation Equipment - Investing in cleanroom assembly robot will reduce the amount of additional sanitation equipment needed on site. Less equipment frees up floorspace and reduces costs. Since cleanroom robots are able to better maintain cleanroom standards, less equipment is needed to combat contaminants. Manufacturing robot arms themselves can also be deployed to sanitize facilities.

  • • Reduces Cleaning Time - In addition to needing less sanitation equipment, cleanroom handling robots also reduce the amount of time spent cleaning a cleanroom facility. Cleanrooms that do not rely on automation require frequent cleanings to maintain required contamination levels. With automated cleanrooms, contamination levels remain steady as particles are not emitted from robots and fewer workers are involved, reducing the frequency of cleanings.

  • • Improve Productivity - Cleanroom robots decrease the amount of downtime in cleanroom facilities. Less time is spent sanitizing operations and waiting on workers to put on protective gear. With less time taken to prepare and clean, greater uptime is achieved allowing for higher productivity rates.

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