Home Business Insights & Advice Eight major types of industrial robots

Eight major types of industrial robots

by John Saunders
22nd Jan 20 1:04 pm

The majority of people have a misconstrued fear that one day, full automation or robots will take their jobs. However, when you look closely at issues, robots have many advantages in the workplace. Robots cannot work on their own and need humans to program them and to make decisions.

Articulated Robots

These are the most common in the industry, and it looks like a human arm. The arm is connected to the base that has a twisting joint. The rotary joints that connect the links in the arm can number from two to ten joints, with each joint providing an extra amount of freedom. The joint can either ben orthogonal or parallel to each other. Articulated Robots with six joints are the most popular of the industrial robots for sale, as this design has a lot of flexibility.

Advantages

  • Speed
  • Massive work envelope for less floor space
  • Can be aligned easily to multiple planes

Applications

  • Food packaging
  • Spot welding
  • Machine tending
  • Material handling
  • Arc Welding

Cartesian Robots

Cartesian robots are also known as a gantry or rectilinear robots with rectangular configuration. Cartesian industrial robots have three prismatic joints for delivery of linear motion through sliding on the prismatic and perpendicular axes, namely, X, Y, and Z. They may have a wrist that allows for some rotational movement. Cartesian robots are used in many applications in industries because of their configuration flexibility, making them well suited for specific needs.

Advantages

  • Provides accuracy
  • Simple to operate
  • Easily programmable while offline
  • Easy to customizable
  • Easily handles heavy loads
  • Cost-effective

Applications

  • Pick and place
  • Material handling
  • Assembly and sub-assembly
  • Nuclear material handling
  • Adhesive applications
  • Loading and unloading

SCARA Robots

SCARA stands for Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm. These robots’ work envelope is donut-shaped and comprises two parallel joints providing compliance on a single selected plane. Its rotary shafts are vertical, and there is an end effector attached to the arm, which moves horizontally. SCARA robots are more suited for lateral movements and are useful in assembly lines. They can move very fast, and as far as integration goes, they are better than Cartesian or cylindrical robots.

Advantages

  • Speed
  • Excellent repeat motion capability
  • Massive workspace

Applications

  • Assembly applications
  • Biomed applications
  • Semiconductor wafers handling
  • Palletizing

Delta Robots

Delta robots, also known as parallel link robots and comprises of parallel joints connected via a common base. Because of the direct control of every joint above the end effector, its positioning can be effortlessly controlled through the arms, which results in high-speed operations. Delta robots’ workspace is dome-shaped, and they are used for product applications or fast pick and place operations.

Advantages

  • Extremely high speed
  • High operational precision

Applications

  • Food industry
  • Electronic industry
  • Optical fiber alignment
  • Pharmaceutical industry
  • Flight simulators
  • Automobile simulators

Polar Robots

Polar robots comprise of a twisting joint that connects the arm to the base, and two rotary joints plus one linear joint that connects the links. They have a spherical work envelope, thus also called spherical robots, and the axes create a polar co-ordinate system.

Polar robots have a shaft that pivots centrally and a rotating arm that is extendable. The configuration of a gun turret takes up a lot of space, but the arm’s access is limited to its workplace.

Advantages

  • Reaches all around
  • Reaches above or below objects
  • Massive work volume
  • Requires very little floor space

Applications

  1. Stacking and unstacking
  2. Forging
  3. Welding
  4. Material handling
  5. Die casting
  6. Glass handling

Cylindrical Robots

Cylindrical robots comprise of one rotary joint at the base and one prismatic joint that connects the links. These robots have a pivoting and extendable arm that moves by sliding vertically and a cylindrical workplace. Robots with cylindrical workspaces have vertical and linear movement together with rotary motion around the vertical axis. This end arm’s compact design allows the robot to work in tight work envelops without speed or repeatability reduction. Used mainly in pick, place, and rotating applications.

Advantages

  • Very simple to operate and install
  • Little assembly
  • Can rotate round itself
  • Requires little floor space
  • Can carry huge payloads

Applications

  • Foundry and forging application
  • Die casting
  • Machine loading and unloading
  • Die casting

Conclusion

While implementing automation in your workplace, carefully consider each robot and its capabilities before making a choice. Consider orientation, speed, load, etc. then chose a robot based on these factors.

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