FANUC Robotics America Inc. has introduced the new M-3iA intelligent, parallel-link robot designed to maximize speed and flexibility for assembly, small part handling and picking applications.
The M-3iA robot is a larger version of the company’s M-1iA robot introduced last year. Available in a four- or six-axis model, the M-3iA offers the same unique parallel-link structure, is lightweight and portable, and accommodates payloads up to 6kg. In addition, it has the largest work envelope of any robot in its class (1350mm x 500mm).
The M-3iA six-axis model has a three-axis, patent-pending wrist for complex assembly tasks. The extreme flexibility offered by the three-axis wrist enables the robot to pick up and insert parts at simple or compound angles, and twist parts into place, similar to the flexibility offered by a manual operator.
“The M-3iA’s unique design makes it possible to automate the assembly of a variety of applications that could not be done with traditional SCARA-type robots,” said David Bruce, product manager, FANUC Robotics America, Inc. “We refer to our series of parallel-link robots as fists because they provide the accuracy and flexibility of a human hand.”
A four-axis M-3iA has a single-axis wrist for simple assembly and high-speed picking operations, offering speeds up to 4000 degrees per second. In addition, a hollow wrist allows hoses and cables to be routed internally, which minimizes wear and tear on the tooling cables.
“The M-3iA is ideal for both simple and complex assembly of electronics, medical devices, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, office supplies, consumer products, and solar panels,” added Bruce. “A completely enclosed structure also makes it safe for food environments.”
The M-3iA, like all FANUC robots, operates with the company’s latest R-30iA controller with integrated intelligent functions such as iRVision®, Force Sensing, Robot Link, and Collision Guard.
The M-3iA robot, which is available for immediate purchase, offers a wide range of benefits, including:
- Patent-pending three-axis, parallel-link wrist maximizes flexibility.
- Portable and compact size allows operation in small spaces.
- Six-axis design (three-axis wrist) enables part feeding from the sides of a work zone, increasing the useable workspace.
- Four-axis design (single-axis wrist) moves parts at extremely high speeds; a hollow wrist allows tooling cables to be routed internally, minimizing wear and tear.
- Food option with food-grade grease features a special coating to handle acid and alkaline disinfectants, and low-pressure rinsing.
- Ability to work with primary (unpackaged) or secondary (packaged) food products.
- IP67 rating for the entire robot means the robot is waterproof and can withstand harsh environments, including dust and oil mist.
- Collision Guard detects robot collisions with external objects, minimizing damage to the part and robot.
- Robot Link controls and coordinates up to ten robots through a network exchange of robot positional data.
- FANUC Force Sensor is available for intricate assembly applications.
Integrated (built-in) Vision
The FANUC iRVision system is a ready-to-use robotic vision package, available on all FANUC robots, requiring only a camera and cable – no additional processing hardware. It has a 2D robot guidance tool to accomplish part location, error proofing, and other operations that normally require special sensors or custom fixtures. For robotic vision processes that exceed the capability of 2D vision systems, FANUC Robotics offers an integrated 3D vision system.