Looking at Some Robot Tech

Related Suppliers

  • ABB Inc. Robtics

  • FANUC Robotics America, Inc.

  • Motoman Inc.

If you were to see the actual version of this, the MotoEye LT laser seam-tracking device for tracking weld joints at high speed and in real time from the Motoman Robotics Div. of Yaskawa America (motoman.com), you wouldn’t see that red triangle emerging from the bottom of the camera, the SF-D camera from Servo-Robot. Of course, if that red triangle wasn’t there, you wouldn’t necessarily get a sense of what the field of view is for the camera which, when working through the MotoEye SF seam-finding software package, allows the arc welding robot to adapt the parameters based on joint gap information. And to make things even more comprehensive, there’s the ComArc through-arc-seam tracking sensor that can be deployed, as well. One of the benefits of the MotoEye LT is achievable when performing circumferential welds on things like fuel tanks, as the seam-tracking helps assure that the weld path is what’s necessary for sealing the components.


Admittedly, this looks like a six-axis robot because it is a six-axis robot. It is the Motoman MC2000. And what you can’t see is that this robot, a “Master Cut” robot (as in “MC”), features precision drives and high rigidity so that if used for laser cutting it can provide the ability to cut small holes and sharp corners: it can provide path accuracy within 0.1 mm. The robot has a 50-kg payload (you’ll note the end effector is absent in this picture), a 2,082-mm horizontal reach, a 3,165-mm vertical reach, and a repeatability of ±0.007 mm. In addition to laser cutting, the MC2000 is said to be well suited for non-cutting operations, as well, such as laser welding and material dispensing. The robot uses the Motoman DX100 controller, that can control up to eight robots (or 72 axes).

At first glance, this looks like a large ABB (abb.com/robots) robot with a Fronius (fronius.com) twin-wire welding equipment on board. But look closer. What you have there is a 10-axis welding system that consists of an IRB 660 robot (reach: 3.15 m) carrying an IRB 140 robot (reach: 0.81 m). That’s right, a robot, in effect, using another robot as its tool. ABB is calling it the IRB 800 high-speed welding system. The rationale behind this is that instead of having a robot traveling on a gantry column, it can more economically reach further in this setup.


If you look closely here—the business area of a KraussMaffei CX 160-750 (kraussmaffei.com), a hydraulic two-platen molding machine—you’ll note that reaching into the work space is a robot arm. That’s because the compact machine is designed with a robot platform so that the programmable automation can be readily integrated into the package, thereby facilitating the commission of the injection molding machine when it is brought into a production operation.


Although robots are productive in and of themselves, there is another aspect to achieving productivity in arc welding operations, even using, say, dual Motoman MA1400 “Master Arc” welding robots with AC servo motor control techology and through-the-arm torch cabling. What’s also required is a means by which parts can be changed, so that there can be load/unload in a timely manner. And as the operator is outside the robot’s work envelope, changed in a safe manner, as well. Which leads to this, the MRM2-750M3XSL trunnion positioner. The “750” in its name relates to its payload capacity: 750 kg. There is also a version with “250” in its name, and yes, it handles 250 kg. Both are servo-driven. The 250 can index in 1.6 seconds; the 750 in 2.2 seconds. The positioners are available in standard lengths of 2 and 3 m between mounting surfaces and can be extended. They provide a turning diameter of 1.3 m.


“The new ARC Mate 0iA is a reliable and cost-effective solution for customers that weld small parts.  The new robot’s design incorporates the latest FANUC servo technology for high speed and accurate welds with less need for manual operators.”  That’s Joe Hoffman, materials joining engineer, FANUC Robotics (fanucrobotics.com).  The ARC Mate 0iA can be mounted on the floor, on an angle, or on a wall.  The J3 axis flips over itself for inverted mounting.  The robot is equipped with the Lincoln Electric (lincolnelectric.com) Power Wave R350 integrated welding power source that features a built-in robotic wire feeder control.  The ARC Mate 0iA can be readily setup through a teach pendant.  It operates on ArcLink XT, an Ethernet-based welding network.