Topic Automation

Large Part Robotic Material Handling

Conveyors and other fixed equipment have historically moved large parts such as car bodies, or truck and heavy industrial equipment frames, through the production process. In some plants, conveyors extend travel between floors in order to move the part through each stage of manufacturing. In other facilities, parts such as oversized sheet metal are stamped, welded, or pressed using giant hydraulic machines. Although effective, these massive machines can be dangerous and do not allow for easy part changeover in today's fast-paced, increasingly demanding environment. In addition, fixed machines can waste time and expensive floor space. Since manufacturers are looking for ways to save money, extremely high payload and large reach robots have been introduced in manufacturing facilities in order to take over some of this difficult but custom precision work

Robots are now available to assist with ultra-high payload body transfer or equipment applications. A full six-axis articulated, large material handling robot is more reliable and costs less than fixed automation. The standard payload capability on a FANUC Robotics M-2000iA robot is 1200kg with an optional 1350 kg available. In addition to the large payload, the robot can be customized with special grippers to allow different body styles to be transferred with the same robot. Replacing fixed, expensive equipment with high-payload robots is cost effective both in terms of programming flexibility and efficient use of floor space.

In one application, significant footprint reductions occurred when a traditional overhead conveyor system that housed six work bays used the FANUC M-2000iA robot to reduce the work area to 1.5 robot bays and 2.5 maintenance zone bays. In this case, overhead carriers and an entire return loop, plus numerous elevated maintenance platforms and an overhead conveyor, were eliminated. In addition, the new equipment was cleaner as the original overhead equipment collected substantial dust and dirt.

In another application, a FANUC M-2000iA robot was used to transfer full auto bodies between conveyor systems. The M-2000iA robot picked up a complete auto body which, when combined with the end of arm tool, weighs almost 1,500 pounds. In addition, the center of gravity is almost a full meter out from the faceplate. The M-2000iA repositions the full auto body 5.5 meters to the adjacent carrier. This M-2000iA robotic vehicle transfer is fully programmable, transferring two different body styles using the same tooling with flexibility to adapt for additional future body styles. The M-2000iA robot series is more flexible, reliable and cost effective than custom designed transfer machines providing customers with increased capability, equipment availability, uptime, and faster return on investment

Applications that not only require a heavy payload but also a long reach can also be accomplished. The M-2000iA/900L has the world’s longest horizontal stroke of 8.2 meters or 26 ft and 10.83 inches. It has the world’s longest vertical stroke of 6.2 meters or 20 ft and 4 inches. This makes it perfectly suited for warehousing and distribution applications as processes previously employing mostly manual labor can be streamlined and made more efficient with a large reach robot

In addition to warehousing, robots like the M-2000iA can perform other applications such as welding, and coating for items such as molten sand core. Large machine tool processing, roof truss manufacturing, and other construction piece manufacturing is done easily as parts can be lifted over the top of the robot arm. Existing facilities can be used to house the M-2000iA as it can be mounted and operated on standard 8” industrial floors. In addition, a baseplate has been designed to simplify installation. The standard M-2000iA has an IP67-rated wrist with epoxy paint as an option.

Warehousing and Distribution Applications

   M-2000iA Presenting Large Parts to a Machine Tool
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