It’s a great time to be in the robotics manufacturing industry.
Between 2010 and 2014, average worldwide robot sales increased at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17 percent, according to the International Federation of Robotics (IFR).
The IFR predicts global robot installations to increase by about 15 percent (264,000 units) in 2015 alone, with an 11 percent increase in robot supplies in the Americas.
Additionally, the IFR estimates about 1.3 million new industrial robots will be installed around the world between 2015 to 2018.
It seems robotics manufacturing is growing fast and FANUC Corporation’s recent industry record-breaking achievement in all-time robot sales – over 400,000 units – says something about their position in the market.
“In this ‘new’ era of robot and human collaboration, there are more options for operators to work with robots safely,” vice president of FANUC America, Mike Cicco told ENGINEERING.com.
“This means we can unlock more productivity by opening up workspaces by eliminating hard guarding in some cases. This allows for better operation of robotic cells since operators can work with the robot to clear jams, exchange parts and generally service the cell. In this way - by bringing the robots and people closer together - manufactures can recognize the benefits of both manual labor and robotized automation in a very small space.”
We should not look at robots as eliminating human jobs. Cicco clarifies how we can use them for the most menial tasks to allow humans to move on to more engaging skill-based jobs.
“Many goods still require a human element in the manufacturing process and utilizing collaborative robots gives these manufactures an easy-to-use solution to have the robots handle the repetitive dull tasks and the humans perform the more complex tasks,” said Cicco.
The company has credited their record-breaking success largely to their FANUC R-2000i series, LR Mate 200i series and their new CR-35iA collaborative green robot.
A popular choice for automotive manufacturers, FANUC’s R-2000iC Robot spot welds an automotive panel. (Image courtesy FANUC America.)
The R-2000i family of robots includes the R-2000iC/125L, 165R, 210F and 210R.
Payload capabilities range from 100-280 kg with some versions sporting pedestal and rack mounts. This allows for use in applications ranging from automotive spot welding to material handling and palletizing.
“The LR Mate 200iD family of robots are what we call “mini-robots” that are very compact, lightweight and fast,” Cicco said.
FANUC’s extremely versatile LR Mate is a cost effective competitor to SCARA robots. (Image courtesy FANUC America.)
The LR Mate 200iD offers six-axis articulation with fast speeds and a four to seven kg wrist load capacity. The robot has a number of variants for primary food handling, clean rooms, pharmaceutical, welding, painting and education market applications.
Next, the CR-35iA has a reach of 1813 mm and a payload of 35 kg. This green robot is used for applications from automotive manufacturing to consumer goods.
With a TUV Certification for Collaborative Safety, the CR-35iA can work directly with people in applications like machine tending, assembly, palletizing and assisted lifting and transferring.
FANUC’s new CR-35iA Collaborative Robot offers a heavy payload of up to 35 kg. (Image courtesy FANUC America.)
The CR-35iA offers solutions to ergonomic problems related to heavy lifting and other scenarios.
“FANUC has continued to see growth in the collaborative area and plans to introduce a family of smaller collaborative robots to meet the industry’s needs in the near future,” Cicco said. “We’re very proud to have achieved this world record in robotics.”
FANUC manufactures all of its products in highly-automated factories at its headquarters at the foot of Mt. Fuji, as well as in Tsukuba and Hayato, Japan.
These factories have per-month capacities reaching:
- 5,000 robots,
- 25,000 CNC and robot controllers,
- 125,000 servo motors and 84,000 servo amplifiers,
- 125,000 sensors and servo motors and
- 5,000 FANUC ROBODRILL machining centers.
To learn more about FANUC America, visit their website here. For more information on IFR’s projections on the near future of industrial robotics, click here.