Manufacturing & Supply Chain

New Generation Robotic Palletiser is Top of the Class

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New Generation Robotic Palletiser is Top of the Class

New Generation Robotic Palletiser is Top of the Class
December 06
09:03 2013
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FANUC Robotics UK has launched a new universal palletising robot that boasts best-in-class speed, payload, energy-efficiency and reach. The M410-iC/185 is the first of a new generation of palletising robots that combines FANUC’s proven 99.99% reliability with tangible improvements in performance, allowing food and beverage manufacturers to palletise heavier loads faster and stack pallets higher.

Thanks to advancements in servo drive and motor technology, the M410-iC/185 delivers a 16% higher wrist load and 13% greater throughput than its predecessor, the M410-iB/160, which serves over 300 customers Europe-wide. A 185kg payload coupled with an average speed of 1700 cycles per hour results in heightened productivity and more efficient palletising of heavier loads. The four-axis robot also has highest in class wrist load inertia, which renders it equally suitable for handling bulky items like sacks of flour using very large grippers, and compact, heavy items, like bottle crates.

“This robot is equally at home palletising bags of sugar as it is shifting crates of soft drink bottles,” says Darren Whittall, technical manager at FANUC Robotics. “It can handle anything from bags, sacks, cartons, shrink-wrapped bottles and cans to crates, tins and trays.”

In designing the new generation robot, FANUC engineers have built a four-axis arm that can stack pallets as high as 2.4m – higher than any other robot in the same class. At the same time, they have reduced the robot’s footprint to an ultra compact 610 x 806mm and energy consumption to 3kW/hr maximum. The robot’s extended reach and stack height capability create a large work envelope, which, in conjunction with high-speed operation, allows a single M410-iC/185 to service multiple lines in high volume environments. The balancer has been eliminated from the design, improving uptime by increasing the M410-iC/185’s reliability. The life of the gripper services is lengthened by a 56mm diameter hollow wrist for running cables and hoses.

According to Darren Whittall, these features combine to make the robot particularly appealing to high volume beverage producers and packers. “We anticipate strong demand from the beverage industry owing to the robot’s high payload, inherent reliability and ability to stack pallets high.”

FANUC’s new M410-iC/185 universal palletising robot that boasts best-in-class speed, payload, energy-efficiency and reach.

The M410-iC/185 is more than just a palletising robot; the in-built PMC (Programmable Machine Controller) enables it to act as a complete cell controller, thereby reducing system controls costs and simplifying integration of stand-alone palletising systems.

“The PMC eliminates the requirement for another PLC to control peripheral equipment like the conveyors transporting products to and from the cell, guard panels and light curtains,” explains Darren Whittall.

The intelligent robot’s touchscreen pendant has been enhanced to display 4D graphics, giving operators a user-friendly tool for viewing process information including cell layout and status, as well as providing the capability to act as the system HMI.

“This new palletiser offers our customers so much more for their money,” enthuses Paul Wilkinson of Pacepacker Services, FANUC’s palletising integrator specialist. “Working as FANUC’s palletising integrator for 15 years, we’ve seen Japanese advances in design, servo drive and motor technology set the pace for a totally new generation of palletisers. The M410iC/185 has been well received by food and beverage manufacturers as it comes with 15+ gripper options and is quick and easy to install.”

“Pacepacker’s ability to accurately match application with the appropriate technological solution along with unparalleled support before, during and after the installation has seen them become a multiple award winning equipment manufacturer and highly sought after integrator of FANUC robots,” says Chris Sumner, managing director of FANUC  UK.

As with all FANUC robots, the M410iC/185 is enabled to take full advantage of FANUC integrated iRVision cameras for product location, recognition and inspection, in addition to barcode reading and line tracking.

Two versions are available: a pedestal base with integral controller or a compact base with remote controller, providing design options where ceiling height and footprint are key considerations.

The M410-iC/185 is the lightest duty model in the new M410-iC generation of robots. FANUC is expanding the range to replace all four models in its previous M410-iB family and will release further details in late 2013/early 2014.

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