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Automation platform brings entire lines under one controller

21 November, 2016

Yamaha has announced in Japan that it has developed a robotic automation platform that, it says, will allow automated production lines to be built quickly at low costs. The platform includes a wide range of components – including controllers, Scara robots, linear conveyor modules, single-axis robots and “smart” cameras – that together form a portfolio of 91 components and 202 variants that will go on sale on 1 December.

At the heart of the system is a newly-developed integrated controller that provides synchronous control of entire automated production systems, including the transport of workpieces, handling, image recognition and the control of peripheral devices. The YHX controller can handle up to 64 robots, and 255 motors rated at up to 3kW.

The controller uses an “industry-first” stacking structure for its drives, power supplies, communications and safety functions, which is claimed to deliver significant savings in space, cabling, set-up times and costs. The IEC 61131-3 compatible controller uses a newly-developed robot language.

Although Yamaha already supplies industrial robots and peripheral devices, each one has previously needed its own controller. The new system brings all of the components under a single controller, simplifying the design of production lines as well as saving space and cutting costs.

The new components include:

•  the YKX series of rigid, high-speed Scara robots, with 400mm-long models boasting “industry-fastest” cycle times of 0.28 seconds;

Yamaha’s new automation platform brings all of the elements of a robotic production line under a single control system

•  the LCM-X linear conveyor module, based on a newly-developed linear motor, which is much smaller than Yamaha’s previous offerings, while being more accurate and providing better acceleration and deceleration;

•  Yamaha’s first machine vision product  – a camera with built-in image processing that connects directly to PLCs and robots; and

•  single-axis robots, including one (the GX series) based on AC servomotors and precision ground ballscrews, and another lower-cost model (the YLE series) that uses stepper motors and is available in six formats (slider, rod, rotary, gripper, miniature and slide table), for a total of 69 models and 180 variants.

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