Mechatronics Canada

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March 11, 2021

Offering exceptionally fast and powerful operation for increased production throughput, the highly reliable four-axis PL190 and PL320 models now join the PL500 robot, enabling a wide range of palletizing applications, order picking and other logistical tasks. Ideal for end-of-line or distribution automation, PL-series robots are well-suited for a variety of industries, moving boxes and filling pallets with ease and precision.

The PL190 has a 190 kg payload capacity, and the PL320 has a 320 kg payload capacity. Each robot features a 3,159 mm horizontal reach, 3,024 mm vertical reach and ±0.05 repeatability.

A one-piece upper arm reduces mass and increases durability, while parallel-link construction for strength and heavy-duty bearings for smooth arm rotation support the handling of large, heavy payloads. A 75 mm T-axis pass-through facilitates easy connections to the end-of-arm tool, and its high moment of inertia ensures unbalanced loads are handled effectively. The PL190 and PL320 robots can be floor-mounted, and brakes are included on all axes.

Installation is quick and efficient. A single cable is all that is needed to connect the manipulator to the controller, resulting in easy setup and reduced expenses for maintenance and spare parts inventory. Airlines and cables are routed internally from the base to the end-of-arm tool to maximize reliability, and a cable installation tube facilitates fieldbus routing to the upper arm and/or gripper.

PL-series robots are controlled by the high-performance YRC1000 controller that is built to a global standard and does not require a transformer for input voltages ranging from 380AC to 480VAC. With a highly compact cabinet (598 W x 490 H x 427 D mm), the YRC1000 uses a lightweight teach pendant with intuitive programming.

Fast and easy creation of palletizing patterns for virtually any mix of SKUs can be accomplished offline using PalletSolver software, enabling faster workcell deployment for even the most complex patterns.

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Featured Article: Decoding the Most Versatile Industrial Connector in the World


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If you were around in 1980’s you will probably remember walkmans, vcrs, mix tapes and big hair bands on MTV, amongst other things. The decade started with the release of PacMan, the Rubiks Cube and a Hollywood actor called Ronald Reagan winning the US Presidential election. It ended with the first episode of the Simpsons, Timothy Berners-Lee inventing the World Wide Web and the Berlin Wall coming down to symbolize the end of the Cold War.

Some notable 1980’s inventions included the first artificial heart, CD players, the Apple MacIntosh computer, Microsoft Windows, the Nintendo Gameboy and the first GPS satellite to be launched into space.

But there was one more invention of the 1980s that wasn’t really noticed by the general public, but ultimately paved the way for fast, easy and reliable electrical connections that we often take for granted in control systems today. We are talking about the M12 circular connector that was launched at the Hannover Fair in 1985 and has since become one of the most popular industrial connectors in the world.

These days, you will be hard-pressed to walk into any manufacturing plant without seeing an M12 connector. They are used to connect sensors to I/O modules, vision systems to Ethernet switches, light curtains to safety controllers and much more. Originally only available in 3-pole and 4-pole versions with an A-Coded keyway for power and I/O signals, the M12 connector is still evolving and has become one of the most versatile circular connectors available.

Now, more than 35 years since it was launched, there are many different types of M12 connectors for signal, data and power connections.

Read More


 

Featured Article: Strategies for Increasing Production Line Modularity


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In today's competitive business environment, customization is key. Manufacturers in all industries are expected to provide a wide range of sizes, colors, styles and assortments, and they are finding it essential to implement flexible manufacturing strategies in order to stay competitive.

The goal of these strategies is to reduce the effort required to change over from one product version to another. Let’s take a look at a couple of ways in which this can be accomplished.

Find ways to minimize rigidity

To determine how to make a system more flexible, it helps to find particular elements that are highly rigid and see how these could be made modular with cutting-edge technology. One example of an inflexible element is a conveyor belt. If conveyors connect production line stations, it can be extremely difficult to rearrange the line or add new stations.

Employing autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) with integrated conveying functionality can dramatically increase flexibility. These robots can take care of materials transport needs without requiring fixed pathways or any other changes to the factory floor. Today, we even see AMRs with integrated collaborative robotic arms that comprise a full pick-and-carry solution.

Avoid excessive part orientation hardware

Traditional parts feeding solutions, such as bowl feeders, typically require parts to be oriented in highly precise ways prior to feeding. Unfortunately, this calls for specific hardware that must be redesigned whenever a new type of part is being produced, dramatically increasing costs and lengthening the time required for a changeover.

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