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Robot arms are getting everywhere…

05 July 2018

Recent developments are opening new opportunities and catapulting the industrial robot arm into a journey around the production environment.

Robots undoubtably take the drudgery out of many repetitive manufacturing, packaging and processing tasks. Engineers are generally fascinated by the idea of improving production processes and keen to integrate robots, so the decision as to whether one is used or not boils down to economics; operators want to see a good case made for the return on investment before giving the green light.

Applications using proprietary robotics solutions such as the MELFA RV articulated arm and RH series SCARA robots from Mitsubishi Electric are now commonplace in many production facilities, usually in pick-and-place or light assembly applications. Breaking established boundaries on the cost and availability of a mainstream robot solution however is moving the goalposts on that final cost versus return decision. 

Cost reduction is being achieved by enabling robot control via a stock PLC while the ability to not only program a robot easily to perform a variety of different tasks, but also to send it around the production floor to work at different stations is delivering a new level of flexibility and availability.

Read the rest of the article in the July issue of DPA

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