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Schneider Electric launches new robot solution for production optimisation

16 June 2017

Schneider Electric formerly launched, in the UK, a family of PacDrive-based robots as part of an end-to-end solution for production optimisation.

Until now automated production lines have used a combination of mechatronic solutions: discrete and synchronised motion control, delta, scara and 6 axis robots. Generally, each individual mechatronic element has its own controller, PLC or safety system linked through the production process with a combination of hardwired signals, splitters, fieldbuses, Industrial Ethernet and gateways. This introduces delays in intercommunication, resulting in a lack of synchronism that is not conducive to the high-performance demands of a modern production line. 

In addition, remote connectivity for diagnostics and control, integration to MRP and plant supervisory systems becomes a cumbersome, costly process with many different interfaces and programming environments.

Schneider-Electric’s PacDrive 3 control and complementary delta robotics solution provides a totally integrated and coordinated solution for the production process. One controller to control multiple Schneider delta robots, scara robots, discrete/ synchronised motion control and 3rd party 6 axis robots. This enables optimum synchronised control of the line from one central point, integrated safety, simplification of the machine topology and one point of access with a single programming environment. This optimises the production process and connectivity required for modern Industry 4.0 ready machines.

Benefits of the robotics solution:

• One controller, one programme and one operating concept to control entire machines and multiple robots
• Easy integration into the control and diagnostic systems of operation or production lines 
• De-centralised drive technology that to optimise plant floor space and reduce build costs and installation time
• Integrated safe motion
• Expansive portfolio of delta robots in a range of sizes and configurations that have: 
  o high payload capacity (up to 50kg)
  o large working radius (between 800-1600mm) 
  o easy-clean, washdown
  o full stainless-steel design throughout the range of robots
• No fixed tooling
• Support and service from Schneider Electric for the entire solution, including control and management software

“Global competition is putting huge pressure on the modernisation of production facilities across the UK, with end-users keen to optimise and automate production. This is putting the value of human-robot collaboration into sharp focus,” said Sam Payne, commercial manager OEM, industry business at Schneider Electric. 

“Making continuous improvements and exploiting production lines for swift product changes, will increasingly require easy-to-use robots that can take over dangerous, monotonous or dirty tasks.”

Many solutions exist in the market today that are assembled from multi-vendor components. Schneider Electric’s solution provides users with a single point of contact for build, assembly and support – simplifying the introduction of robotics in the production environment and ensuring compatibility of the various components that make up the solution. 

Via its OEM Technology and Solutions Centre in Germany, the company also offers complete development and support services throughout the project lifecycle for engineers to improve the overall success of their robotics implementation.


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