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Collaborative, safe and reliable - good things come in threes

14 February 2017

Fanuc now offers three small, collaborative robots as part of its large industrial robot portfolio: the CR-4iA, the CR-7iA and the CR-7iA/L.

These new additions to the range will complement the larger, green-coloured CR-35iA collaborative robot which, with a payload of 35kg, remains the strongest of its kind. 

The CR-4iA is the smallest of the Fanuc collaborative range, with a payload of 4kg, while the CR-7iA and CR-7iA/L (long arm) are able to lift up to 7kg. Through proven sensor technology, the Fanuc collaborative range ensures a completely safe stop whenever the robots encounter an unexpected obstacle - human or otherwise. 

The range is TÜV certified to meet international safety requirements ISO 10218-1. The robots’ collaborative nature also enables these machines to work alongside a human workforce. In many cases, the need for safety fences is eliminated as the robots’ small and compact designs enable them to be fully integrated into a human workspace. 

Furthermore, there is also the option to incorporate Fanuc intelligent functions into these robots, including industry-ready plug-and-play vision and force sensor technologies. This facilitates new interactions between humans and robots in many different applications. Fanuc vision sensors can be used in a variety of tasks, including locating workpieces, part or process inspection, or reading barcodes. Fanuc force sensor technology offers a wide range of precise assembly strategies for complex assembly tasks in fields such as automotive or electronics. 

Due to their small and compact frames, the robots can be ceiling or wall-mounted, offering a wider range of motion without interfering with the operator’s workspace. The robots can also be mounted on a mobile platform due to their lightweight and slim design. This flexibility makes it easy to change the robots’ work stations, allowing them to complete a variety of tasks along the assembly line depending on the operator’s or business’s needs. The expected tasks of such robots include light, tedious, and repetitive manual tasks for different types of material handling, small electrical parts transfer and assembly. 

Although these new collaborative robots are green on the outside, they are yellow on the inside, which means that they operate like any other Fanuc robot. With standard Fanuc control technology, they offer a well-known interface for simple integration into manufacturing plants. 

Fanuc’s expansion of its “green robot” collaborative range arrives as worldwide sales of collaborative robots are increasing, with an expected market value of more than £1.6billion in the next five years. Fanuc is proud to be at the forefront of developing human-robot interaction, and looks forward to contributing new ways of automating manufacturing industries. 

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