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Articulated-arm robots offer longer service life

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A new integrated safety system is now available for Mitsubishi Electric's latest generation of articulated-arm robots to protect the robots, the plant in which they work and the components they handle. It is believed that this will make a major contribution to the long-term protection of users' investments.

Standard equipment on the latest generation of robots from Mitsubishi Electric includes high-performance safety systems such as individual joint torque monitoring and a sensorless crash detection feature that instantly stops the robot as soon as its gripper encounters an obstacle.

Another major highlight is the intelligent maintenance forecast system, which automatically calculates the date for the next service on the basis of the robot's load and work patterns. This means that necessary service tasks such as lubrication of the robot's moving parts only have to be performed when they are really necessary, on the basis of actual robot use, instead of following a rigid schedule based on average values. The system calculates the next maintenance date very precisely on the basis of nearly 200 individual parameters, including operating time, handling payload weight and the acceleration rates of the gripper arm.

The benefits are obvious: unnecessary and expensive downtime is avoided, and the staff can plan the service work well in advance so that it does not conflict with normal operations.

With the automatic maintenance system Mitsubishi Electric guarantees its articulated arm robots for a service life of at least 20,000 hours. Assuming operation on 365 days per year, this is equivalent to a minimum service life of 2.3 years in three-shift operation or seven years in one-shift operation. Costs can therefore be as low as £1/hr.

26 September 2006

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