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`World’s fastest` Scara robot challenges spiders

22 December, 2010

Mitsubishi Electric claims to have developed the world’s fastest ceiling-mounting Scara robot which, it says, will challenge the performance and economics of tripod “spider” robots in pick-and-place applications. The RH-35 robot has a cycle time of 0.32s, allowing it to perform three pick-and-place operations every second. It can carry 3kg loads, and has a reach of 350mm, an operating diameter of 700mm, a lift of 150mm, and a repeat positioning accuracy of ±0.01mm.

When it made its debut at the recent SPS/IPC/Drives show, the robot (above) had to be operated at reduced speed to avoid shaking the demonstration display too vigorously.

“Historically, the speed argument has always been in favour of spider robots, but with its fast cycle time the RH-3S is redefining performance expectations for robots, and offers a huge advantage over spider robots when it comes to installation” says Mitsubishi product manager, Reiner Hänel.

The ceiling mounting design allows the robot to be installed above the centre-point of an application, in line with the flow of materials, without taking up valuable space next to the assembly area. It can be retrofitted to existing production lines, or be used to create new work cells with smaller footprints than previously possible.

The robot has been designed for easy integration. For example, when picking components from a conveyor belt, the only extras needed are a vision system and an encoder to monitor belt speeds. It can use a standalone controller, or one embedded into Mitsubishi’s iQ platform to provide integration with PLCs and PACs.

Users will also soon be able to program the RH-3S through Mitsubishi’s iQ Works integrated engineering software suite.

For more news from the SPS/IPC/Drives Show, see our detailed report.

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