YASKAWA “all in”: Robotics, Drives & Motion and Controls
31. January 2019
2019 marks the official start of operations of YASKAWA’s first own robot production facility at Kočevje, Slovenia. The new production and development capacity enables the shortest possible delivery times and provides extended options for customised robotics solutions. It also means that YASKAWA will move even closer to the European market and technical trends. With an investment volume of around 25 million euros, the factory will cater for about 80% of the European robot requirements. Moreover, approximately two hundred new jobs will be created at YASKAWA, and others at the European suppliers.
Besides the new robot factory, three other major projects are currently strengthening YASKAWA’s regional presence in Europe. Over 10,000 m2 of production and office space were constructed in Nantes, France. A new factory building with office space was constructed at Torsås in Sweden. And in early 2018 the company moved into an extension with 4,000 m2 of production and storage space and 1,200 m2 of office space at the European Headquarters for Robotics in Allershausen.
MotoMINI extends range of MOTOMAN models downwards
There have also been a number of developments in terms of new robot models: the new MotoMINI is the smallest model in the MOTOMAN robot portfolio. With a working range of 350 mm it can handle a payload of 500 g. As a lightweight, high-speed robot the compact 6-six axis version combines fast operation with a high repeat accuracy of 0.02 mm. The MotoMINI is thus ideal for handling small workpieces and components, as well as for assembly work in small production machines. Its compact form allows for flexible and space-saving implementation.
On the smallest footprint, this robot moves the components in all three directions and around the three axes. This freedom of movement also enables more complicated, three-dimensional handling procedures. It contributes to a reduction in the space required for the production facility, while at the same time increasing productivity. At only 7 kg the dead weight of the manipulator is so small that the robot can be flexibly deployed according to operational requirements or the type of workpiece to be machined.
New MOTOMAN YRC1000micro high-performance controller
The control unit is likewise small and lightweight: the MotoMINI is operated with the new MOTOMAN YRC1000micro high-performance controller. The hand-held programmer – at 730 g the lightest in its category – is clearly laid out and ergonomically designed. The touchscreen permits intuitive operation, and thus easy movement and scrolling with the cursor. The screen of the hand-held programmer can display a 3D simulation of the movement of the real robot arm and the limits of the safe working area.
With its open interfaces, the new generation of control units is also predestined for use in Industrie 4.0 environments. The extremely compact controller with a cabinet volume of only 21.5 litres can be mounted in the cell next to the robot in the smallest of spaces. Despite its compactness, the controller not only offers YASKAWA’s customary movement quality: it can optionally operate two additional axes, be equipped with all field bus systems and even designed as a safety controller. With the integrated safety controller – for up to 16 different grippers – this control unit also attains a PL d/ Category 3 as is usual for YASKAWA.
MotoLogix software interface now also with EtherCAT connection
YASKAWA’s MOTOMAN robots in the current IEC-61131 environment can be quickly and easily programmed and controlled via the PLC with the MotoLogix software interface. Now YASKAWA has expanded the spectrum of supported platforms to include the standard EtherCAT. Besides EtherCAT, integrated solutions are still possible with MotoLogix on the basis of POWERLINK, EtherNet/IP and PROFINET. Robots can thus be programmed and controlled with controllers from Siemens, Beckhoff, B&R, Rockwell and, of course, YASKAWA.
Due to integration into the PLC all the genuine advantages of the robot control unit are retained. The robot controller calculates the movement kinematics and guarantees a high quality of motion. This means that YASKAWA know-how remains guaranteed where exact motion sequences of the manipulators are concerned. Particularly in all forms of handling such as machine loading, picking, packaging, placing, palletizing or measuring, testing and sorting, these robots together with the respective control unit can demonstrate their strengths to the full.
The simple integration of the robot controls into the PLC pays off not only in the operation of complex production facilities. With MotoLogix, PLC expertise suffices for the control of robots. This eliminates the search for robot-trained staff or the expense of retraining personnel. YASKAWA robots can thus be operated worldwide under the same conditions.
Alexander Luna Garcia, Sales GI Robots & Products
YASKAWA Europe GmbH, Robotics Division, D-85391 Allershausen
21 March 2019
Kongresshalle Böblingen, Germany
Foyer Europasaal / Stand No. 15
Speech YASKAWA: 1:30 - 1:55 pm
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