Industrial robot MOTOMAN has accumulated 500000 shipments
Industrial robot MOTOMAN has accumulated 500000 shipments
Since the launch of the fully electric industrial robot "MOTOMAN-L10" by Yaskawa Electric Co., Ltd. (hereinafter referred to as "Yaskawa Electric") in 1977, it has been widely favored by domestic and foreign customers.
In 1994, Yaskawa Electric Robot Control Cabinet YASNAC MRC achieved complete independent coordination of actions between multiple robots. Since 2003, in the process of striving to meet customer needs, starting from general-purpose robots suitable for welding, handling, and other purposes, we have promoted the adoption of "purpose optimization robots" in the robotics industry that optimize the structure based on application methods and functions.
In addition, six degrees of freedom robots can correspond to general actions, and by adding one more degree of freedom to them, 7-axis robots with the same degree of freedom as human arms have been achieved, as well as dual wrist robots that can reproduce the same wrist as humans for operations using 7-axis robots. Yaskawa Electric has continuously explored new robot markets with the advanced technology of this era.
In recent years, in the context of population reduction on production lines, severe labor shortages, and the prevention of the expansion of infectious diseases, the demand for products in the general industrial sectors facing the third tier market (food, medical supplies, cosmetics) and the 3C market (computers, home appliances, communication machines) has also increased, in order to meet the demand for diversified products (multi variety, multi variable), Since 2018, Yaskawa Electric has been selling the human-machine collaborative robot "MOTOMAN-HC10DT" that can work around people, expanding the application range of industrial robots.
Industrial Robots that are Active in a Variety of Fields
Automobile and Automobile parts
Industrial robots have more than 40 years of history to be used in the automobile industry. Yaskawa still accounts for more than 50% of the applications of industrial robots to today, and robots are used in all processes, including welding, assembly and painting.
For example, arc welding robots are used for the underside of automobile bodies, mufflers, and seat frames, spot welding robots are used for joining body sides and ceilings, painting robots are used for painting, and handling robots are used for installing seats and windows. Especially in the main line of an automobile factory, the scene of many spot welding robots surround the body and weld it all at once is impressive.
In recent years, electric vehicles (EVs), hybrid electric vehicles (HEV), and fuel cell vehicles (FCV) have become widespread, as environmental regulations have been tightened, mainly in Europe and the United States, and as awareness of Eco has increased. In order to achieve these low fuel consumption performances, the body material has been shifted from steel to aluminum or high-tensile steel sheets that are lightweight and highly functional. New technologies are also required to produce high-capacity batteries, and Yaskawa is developing new products and applications to meet these technological trends.
Electrical and Electronic Equipment
Electrical and electronic equipment is also called “3C,” which stands for Communication, Computer and Consumer Electronics. Industrial robots are also used in various processes to produce electrical and electronic equipment.
For example, mounting small electronic components on an electronic circuit board, welding and painting a casing to store the equipment, and mounting boards and components on the casing. Industrial robots play an active role in almost all processes, from upstream production to downstream testing and shipping, such as testing finished products, and packing packed products into boxes and pallets.
Many electric and electronic equipment products are small, and the production process is closely spaced, making it difficult to apply conventional industrial robots. However, with the appearance of the collaborative robot, which can work with/beside people, these problems have been overcome and the range of applications is expanding.
FPD (Flat Panel Display)/Semiconductor Manufacturing Equipment
Thin glass plates (glass substrates) for FPDs is used for PCs, smartphones, and flat-screen TVs. Various processes are used to print patterns and filters on the glass substrate. During this process, industrial robots are used to transport glass substrates and to take them in and out of processing equipment.
In the FPD manufacturing process, a large glass substrate (about a few millimeters thick, and more than 3 meters x 3 meters for large FPDs) is used. For this reason, there is a need for robots that can transport such heavy and deflective glass substrates at high speeds. In addition, even a very small amount of dust and dirt can directly affect the quality, so the factory environment is very clean, and the robot itself is required to have a high level of cleanliness that does not emit a small amount of dust and dirt.
In the semiconductor manufacturing process, thin disk-shaped silicon wafers made from high-purity silicon single crystals are processed. A semiconductor chip called a die is formed by repeating the processes of forming a thin film layer on the silicon wafer, transferring the circuit pattern, etching, cleaning, and inspection. Hundreds of dies are formed on a single silicon wafer. The dies on the silicon wafer are then cut one by one, packaged, and finally inspected.
Industrial robots are used to transport silicon wafers into and out of manufacturing equipment for each of these processes. As a matter of course, the faster the transfer is, the more it can be produced and the lower the cost. However, semiconductor manufacturing requires extremely high accuracy, and therefore, it has high performance with high absolute position accuracy of 0.05 mm. In addition, as in the FPD manufacturing process, dust and dust directly affect the quality of products, so the factory is kept very clean.
At laboratories and pharmaceutical sites, there are processes such as analysis and quality testing. However, automation was slow because many types of equipment are used, workers are required skills, and there were no industrial robots that could be used under hygiene control.
In response, Yaskawa has developed a robot for biomedical applications that can move with high precision under hygiene control. We are expanding the range of automation in such fields as pretreatment of experiments and analyses, preparation of anticancer drugs, as well as testing of various types of bacteria. In the case of the preparation of reagents before testing, if the simple work of pretreatment is replaced by an industrial robot and no human work is required, researchers can concentrate on the principal work itself and its efficiency is greatly improved. Safety can be ensured by avoiding dangerous drugs such as anticancer drugs. In addition to this, iPS cells are being cultivated, preprocessed for genome analysis, and tested for the presence of microorganisms.
Industrial robot bodies have smooth surfaces that can be wiped with hydrogen peroxide water and cleaned, and Yaskawa has prepared several models that can work with both arms like a human, and single-arm models.
A food factory usually has various processes, such as packaging, labeling, inspection, packaging in cardboard boxes for shipping, and loading in cardboard boxes, in addition to the production of food products. In particular, the robot is required to have special specifications in the process of processing the food itself in order to handle things that go directly into the mouth. For example, it uses a surface coating that is easy to clean and keeps hygienic, and materials for food machines that are harmless even when put into the mouth. In addition, drip-proof and rust-proof measures may be required in environments where water splashes.
For example, in a factory that produces a large amount of plate-shaped chocolate, a large amount of chocolate is transported to a conveyor in a disassembled state at high speed. Therefore, a robot capable of detecting chocolate on a conveyor with a camera and accurately grasping the moving chocolate is required. For this purpose, a unique structure called parallel link is adopted.
In recent years, as the market for ready-made meals has expanded, some supermarkets and convenience stores have begun to use ready-made lunch boxes and side dishes for filling and closing lids. Collaborative robots can carry trays next to workers and can be installed in limited spaces where safety fences cannot be set up. These robots are expected to be widely used in the future.
As online shopping, such as e-commerce sites, has become increasingly popular, there has been a rapid increase in demand for handling robots for sorting and transporting cartons in distribution warehouses and food warehouses. As the work of stacking cardboard boxes and unloading stacked cardboard boxes is limited, we have developed a special structure model. It is also required that logistics warehouses quickly sort large quantities of packages of different sizes. To this end, we are working with our partners to develop technology for controllers that use CAD-based software to instantly judge their sizes.
More than 2.7 million * industrial robots are in operation around the world * as indispensable equipment for the production of automobiles, home appliances, PCs, smartphones, and other products in factories and other places that are rarely seen in everyday life. Yaskawa announced the Japan’s first all-electric industrial robot under the brand name MOTOMAN in 1977, and since then we have shipped nearly 500,000 units all over the world.
*International Federation of Robotics (IFR) published values in 2020
Yaskawa develops and optimizes servo motors which are the main components of industrial robots MOTOMAN by ourselves. Aside from control software technology that maximizes this capability, we are developing industrial robots by integrating application technology that realizes optimum structures and functions for applications such as welding and painting.
In response to current trends such as IoT, Industrie 4.0, and artificial intelligence (AI), Yaskawa is promoting i³-Mechatronics as a solution concept for realizing a new industrial automation revolution. Yaskawa’s industrial robots are the core products to realize this concept. By collecting, accumulating, and analyzing the state of the servo motors that make up the body and the results of operations, they contribute to improving productivity and quality through the stable operation of facilities and lines at customers’ production sites.
Besides automobiles, Yaskawa’s industrial robots are now used in a wide range of industries, including electric and electronic equipment, semiconductor manufacturing, biomedical, food, medical products, logistics and so on. Let us introduce what kind of robots are active in each industry.
Industrial Robot Arm
Industrial Robot Arm
An industrial robot arm is defined as a mechanical mechanism consisting of at least three axes used to automate manufacturing processes therefor eliminating or reducing the need for human interaction. Robotic arms automatically perform production related tasks through programming or through guidance with a robotic vision system.
Industrial robot arms have become quite common along production lines. While they got their start in the automotive industry, advancements in technology has led to more industries adopting industrial robots including the pharmaceutical, food, and aerospace industries. Robot arms have become vital to manufacturing, with the ability to automate numerous applications. Industrial robot arms can automate welding, painting, assembly, material handling, material removal, palletizing, inspection, among others. Many robotic arms have multi-application capabilities, allowing for one robot to complete several steps in a manufacturing process. For example, the FANUC M710ic can be used for automated material handling, robotic part transfer, and material removal tasks.
Industrial robot arms are designed to operate with a range of motion that mimics or is similar to the human arm. As mentioned above, there are many different types of robots and a robotic arm must have at least three axes to be considered industrial. Industrial robots can have ten or more axes, but the most common ones used in manufacturing consist of four to six. The number of axes a robot has determines the degrees of freedom or how much range of motion it will be capable of. The more axes a robot has, the greater its range of motion. Six-axis robots are the most popular for manufacturing since their range of motion is the most similar to a human’s. The FANUC R2000ib is one of the most widely deployed six-axis robots.
The majority of robotic arms feature a single arm design that is connected to a rotating base, this design is what is referred to as an articulated robot. Articulated robot arms consist of a shoulder, elbow, forearm, and wrist joints. Robot arms are built to be incredibly durable, being made of either steel or iron for the ability to tolerate hazardous conditions or heavy lifting applications. The robot wrist attaches to the end-effector, which is the tooling that interacts directly with workpieces. End-effectors will vary based upon the application type. Since the FANUC 120ic is used for robotic welding, a welding torch will be fitted to its wrist. While a gripper will be integrated with the Motoman HP20 for material handling.
There are other variations of industrial robot arms besides articulated ones that are used in manufacturing. Dual arm robots feature two arms that extend from either side of the robot’s body. These provide double the number of axes. While delta robots feature three parallel joint arms that extend downward and connect to a single EOAT. Cartesian robots feature a single robotic arm that is mounted to a robotic track system.
The use of industrial robot arms has been steadily growing year after year. Robot arms are precise, accurate, and agile. Through automation with industrial robot armsproductivity is increased, product quality is improved, cycle times are reduced, and costs are cut. Manufacturing processes are streamlined resulting in an overall efficient production line.
Industrial Robotic Arms: Changing How Work Gets Done
Industrial robotic arms are helping businesses boost their competitive advantage and keep costs low by enabling automation of key processes that contribute to enhanced safety for workers, accelerated production, and improved productivity.
What Is an Industrial Robotic Arm?
From manufacturing to automotive to agriculture, industrial robotic arms are one of the most common types of robots in use today.
Robotic arms, also known as articulated robotic arms, are fast, reliable, and accurate and can be programmed to do an infinite number of tasks in a variety of environments. They are used in factories to automate execution of repetitive tasks, such as applying paint to equipment or parts; in warehouses to pick, select, or sort goods from distribution conveyors to fulfill consumer orders; or in a farm field to pick and place ripe fruits onto storage trays. And as robotic technologies develop and industrial environments become more connected, the capabilities of robotic arms expand to enable new use cases and business operation models.
In the past, a robotic arm required teaching to perform narrowly defined tasks, such as picking a single type of object from a precise location with a specific orientation. Robots were not able to identify a particular type of object among many, determine an object location with some tolerance (area rather than exact position), or adjust the grasp based on object orientation.
Today, thanks to devices such as Intel® RealSense™ high-resolution depth cameras, powerful CPUs and GPUs, and AI technologies such as the Intel® Distribution of OpenVINO™ toolkit, robotic arms are augmented with the sensing and intelligence to perform new tasks. These smart, vision-augmented robots can detect objects in their surroundings, recognize them by types, and manipulate them accordingly. These capabilities allow robots to operate more accurately and more consistently, and safer and faster than before. They also expand the range of tasks that robots can accomplish.
With these advancements in machine vision, AI and network technologies, robotic arms can now see, analyze, and respond to their environments while transmitting valuable data and insights back to facility and business management systems. One area that benefits from this transformation is equipment (robot included) maintenance. The robot can compute data at the edge or transmit it to a server or the cloud for remote monitoring. This process enables predictive maintenance, which in turn helps reduce maintenance costs while improving machine uptime.
The Benefits of Industrial Robotic Arms
Businesses can realize several benefits from industrial robotic arms:
Improved safety. Robotic arms help keep workers safe by operating in environments that are hazardous and executing tasks that present high risk of injury to humans.
Improved efficiency and productivity. Robotic arms can operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week without fatiguing, allowing businesses to keep production, inspections, or other tasks going continuously to increase output.
Enhanced precision. By their very nature, robotic arms perform more consistently and accurately than humans for tasks that require extreme precision or consistency.
Greater flexibility. As business priorities change, robotic arms can easily be repurposed for new activities or mounted onto different platforms, such as autonomous mobile robots (AMRs), a stationary assembly line platform, or wall or shelf, as needed.
Industrial Robotic Arm Components
Robotic arms, aptly named because they resemble a human arm, are typically mounted to a base.
The arm contains multiple joints that act as axes that enable a degree of movement. The higher number of rotary joints a robotic arm features, the more freedom of movement it has. Most industrial robotic arms use four to six joints, which provide the same number of axes of rotation for movement.
In addition to rotary joints, robotic arm components include the robot controller, an end-of-arm tool, actuators, sensors, vision systems, power systems, and software components.
Take a deeper look at a robotic arm in the graphic below:
Robotic Arm Applications
One of the key advantages of industrial robotic arms is their versatility for supporting multiple applications—from the simplest to the most complex jobs in the safest or harshest environments. Automating these types of tasks not only removes human workers from possibly hazardous situations, but it enables those workers to take on high-value tasks such as interfacing with customers.
Here are some of the most common ways manufacturers are using robotic arms today:
Robotic arms can be used to automate the process of placing goods or products onto pallets. By automating the process, palletizing becomes more accurate, cost-effective, and predictable. The use of robotic arms also frees human workers from performing tasks that present a risk of bodily injury.
Material-handling robotic arms can help create a safe and efficient warehouse by ensuring goods and materials are properly stored, easy to find, or transported correctly. Automating these processes can help accelerate the delivery of goods to customers, prevent workplace accidents, and improve the efficiency of a facility.
Welding is a task that can be performed by robots in advanced industrial settings such as automotive manufacturing. Given its critical impact on product quality, welding is an excellent candidate for advanced robotics with vision and AI augmentation for inline quality inspection.
Performing quality inspection is typically completed at the end of a production line, which delays the detection of production quality issues. By enhancing robots with vision and AI systems, businesses can benefit from real-time inspection, helping to reduce waste and downtime.
Pick and Place
Pick-and-place robots are typically used in modern manufacturing and logistics. They are equipped with advanced machine vision systems to identify an object, grasp it, and move it from one location to another —quickly and efficiently— to increase speed of production and distribution of goods.
One of the key advantages of industrial robotic arms is their versatility for supporting multiple applications—from the simplest to the most complex jobs in the safest or harshest environments.
Businesses in a variety of industries are using Intel® technologies, solutions, and partners for their intelligent robotic arm deployment.
For example, car manufacturer Audi partnered with Intel and Nebbiolo Technologies to boost weld inspections and enhance critical quality-control processes in its factories by using Intel-enabled robotic arms, machine learning, and predictive analytics.1
RightHand Robotics also worked with Intel to revolutionize automated warehouse fulfillment with its software-driven, hardware-enabled RightPick2 platform. Guided by Intel® RealSense™ cameras, RightPick2 uses computer vision technology to deliver an end-to-end solution that can automatically handle any item—picking and placing thousands of SKUs at high speed with high reliability.
Building Industrial Robotic Arms with Intel® Technologies
From CPUs and GPUs with built-in AI inference acceleration to free algorithms, middleware, and reference implementations, Intel has the hardware, software, and ready-to-run solutions you need to develop and deploy industrial robotic arms.
Intel® processors for IoT and embedded uses provide powerful compute capabilities needed for automated operation.
Intel® RealSense™ products give robotic arms the ability to perceive their surroundings and understand objects. A robust range of depth cameras enable depth mapping which is essential in ensuring robotic arms can perform in multiple environments and varying conditions.
And the Intel® Distribution of OpenVINO™ toolkit enables developers to optimize, tune, and run comprehensive AI inference using an included model optimizer and runtime and development tools, facilitating a smoother development process and enabling a write-once, deploy-anywhere model.
Intel® Technologies and Solutions for the Edge
Intel’s portfolio of solutions and industry ecosystem can help you to architect and deploy edge solutions.
Intel® Edge Software Hub offers prevalidated software to learn, develop, and test your solutions for the edge.
Intel® Edge Insights for Industrial comes as a prevalidated, ready-to-deploy software reference design for video and time series data ingestion. It includes AI analysis and can publish to local applications or the cloud. And since it’s built on Docker, it’s simple to modify and customize for applications.
Intel® Edge Controls for Industrial is a free, software-defined reference platform for industrial controls. It combines real-time, deterministic computing and functional safety and standards-based industrial connectivity with IT-like management.
Intel® Vision Products for computer vision solutions offer a robust choice of general-purpose CPUs and purpose-built accelerators for deploying vision at the edge.
Intel® machine vision solutions for Industry 4.0 bring together the hardware, software, and ready-to-run solutions to power the machine vision, smart manufacturing, and industrial control systems critical to robotics solutions, industrial automation, predictive maintenance, automated vision inspection for defect detection, and more.
Intel Takes Robotic Arms to the Next Level
Businesses across all industries are feeling pressure to reach new levels of productivity and efficiency while improving workplace safety. By working with Intel, companies can drastically enhance their robotic arms with advanced sensing technologies, AI, machine and computer vision, and edge networking to not only meet new productivity and performance requirements but also give them a competitive edge in an ever-changing world.