An assembly robot plays a key role in putting different components together. As a result, an assembly robot occupies a sweet spot between automation and human beings. This robot can move faster and with higher precision than a human being. In addition, the robot will not tire or get distracted.
An assembly robot has more benefits than drawbacks. As a result, this key automation equipment quickly replaces humans on various industries’ assembly floors. Though primarily used in the automotive industry, the applications of assembly robots are fast-growing in other sectors such as medicine, home appliances, and communication devices.
Keep reading to learn more about the types and benefits of an assembly robot.
Types of Assembly Robots and Their Benefits.
Assembly line robots are available in three configurations: the four-axis, also known as a SCARA robot, the six-axis articulated arm, and the modern Delta robots.
1. SCARA Robots
The acronym SCARA stands for Selective Compliance Assembly Robot Arm and is one of the most popular types of robot in industries. SCARA robots are ideal for mechanical automation in various industrial fields such as assembly, welding, handling, and painting.
A SCARA assembly robot has several rigid rods and a moving or rotating joint on its arm. The arm is fixed on the base at one end, and the other end is free. The free arm freely moves an actuator, such as a gripper or welder. The effector at the front of a SCARA robot’s arm must be in a suitable position and posture for the robot to work. The movements of several joints on the arm synthesize the robot to various postures and positions.
It is critical to know the relationship between the posture and position of the end effector and the variable space of each robot arms joint in a SCARA robot’s motion control. Once you have identified the geometry of a SCARA robot’s arm, you can determine the kinematic model. The kinematic model is the basis of the robot arm’s motion control.
A SCARA robot’s track planning is another key factor to consider when installing these assembly robots in your organization. The motion path at the robot manipulator’s end is the space curve of the motion trajectory. It is the posture and position at the beginning point to the position and posture at the endpoint.
Trajectory planning involves using a function to approach or interpolate a given path and produce control setpoints. The trajectory and set of control points determine the robot’s movement. Cartesian spatial planning and spatial joint interpolation are the most used track planning techniques.
Benefits of SCARA Robots
- SCARA robots have a compact structure, small installation footprint, and an extensive operating range.
- A SCARA assembly robot has high accessibility allowing it to move in closed spaces.
- They don’t require moving rails because they have a fixed base and a rotating arm.
- SCARA robots require a small drive torque, leading to low energy consumption.
- They are ideal for replacing complex assembly tasks that are dangerous to humans.
2. 6-Axis Articulated Arm Robots
Robotic assembly systems employ six-axis robots, also referred to as articulated robots, in assembly tasks that need high flexibility. These robots are ideal for assembly lines that need both vertical and horizontal flexibility. Flexibility also allows articulated robots to address ceiling height and floor space constraints.
Articulated robots offer the strength, reach, and flexibility required to complete most assembly tasks. These robots can perform yaw, roll, and pitch movements. In addition, these movements allow a six-axis assembly robot to make maneuvers similar to the human arm.
A six-axis assembly robot will allow interpolated and articulated movement within the working space. The six axes work as follows:
- First axis: This axis is located at the base of the robot. The axis rotates the arm at the bottom of the robot up to 180 degrees from its center. The axis offers the robot the ability to move an object in a straight line.
- Second axis: Enables the forward and back extension of the lower arm. The axis allows the robot to lift objects, move them up, down, and sideways.
- Third axis: Raises and lowers the upper arm. The axis extends the robot’s vertical reach allowing it to reach more components.
- Fourth axis: Rotates the robot’s upper arm, also known as a wrist roll. The fourth axis allows the robot to change the orientation of a component via a rolling motion.
- Fifth axis: Lowers and raises the wrist of the robot arm. It is responsible for pitch and yaw movements.
- The sixth axis rotates the wrist. It allows the robot to make a complete 360 degrees rotation.
Servo motors drive the articulated robot’s movements. A control system adjusts the power directed to each motor for precise movement.
Benefits of Articulated Robots
- Articulated robots are easier to align to several planes.
- They are simple to maintain and operate.
- Have a broader range of applications because of their flexibility.
- Easy to redeploy.
3. Delta Robots
Delta robots have a parallelogram arm design, which makes them be referred to as parallel-link robots. These robots have three to four lightweight arms made of carbon fiber. The arms extend downward from the robot’s main body. The arms design has a spider-like resemblance, and they are sometimes referred to as spider robots.
Delta robots’ arms join at the middle, bending inward and connecting to the tooling plate. The end-effector then attaches to the tooling plate, and a motor located within the main body connects to each arm. The motor coordinates movements by pushing the joints inwards and outwards, allowing the arms to move up and down. One arm extends from the body’s center and controls the end-effector.
Benefits of Delta Robots
- Speed: Delta robots’ design enables high speed and acceleration, making them speedier than other assembly robots.
- Delta robots have a higher productivity rate due to their speed. They can quickly assemble components.
- Delta robots have a small footprint. They require a smaller workspace compared to other robots.
- Safety. The speed of a delta assembly robot makes it ideal for high-speed repetitive tasks, which are dangerous to humans.
Assembly robots are taking over assembly tasks in many industries today. An assembly robot is fast and can accurately join components together. In addition, these robots are ideal for tiny components that require high degrees of precision. However, there are different types of assembly robots, each with its unique benefits. Floor managers should therefore make careful consideration when choosing an assembly robot.