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New machine tending robots from Kuka

01 September 2006

Kuka Automation + Robotics has introduced a generation of robots for machine tending and handling tasks in the injection moulding and die casting industries. The new Kuka Jet six-axis unit can be mounted either upside down or sideways on a rapid linear transfer system for those applications that involve long distances between, say, an unloading station and set down point.
Kuka says the combination of a flexible jointed-arm robot with the latest linear technology not only means shorter cycle times, but also better manoeuvrability. It ensures machines can be tended through narrower openings and work-pieces can be more accurately positioned.
The new robots are able to move components in a horizontal direction, which means that a series of machines can be served for optimum material flow. In addition, up to two robots can be controlled on one linear axis.
"New plastic injection moulding equipment and die technologies such as turnover plate machines with two components call for both the speed of a linear axis and the flexibility of a jointed-arm robot," says Kuka's Paul Richards. "Highly complex removal operations and completely new, space-saving machine shop concepts are now possible even for bulky components. Moreover, the speed [3.2m/s] and versatility of these systems will bring substantial productivity benefits for injection moulders and die-casters."
The robots are capable of handling payloads ranging from 30 to 60kg and are available in four variants with a choice of reaches and working ranges. They are programmed via a single Kuka controller and are compatible with Euromap interfaces 12 and 67.

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