Omron Corporation announced at Automatica that it will be introducing a new line of SCARA robots, boasting sleek design and enhanced performance. Named the i4, the new generation of SCARA robot will save space during installation, and allow easier configuration into existing production lines. The i4 is fast, repeatable, easy to operate and flexible for multiple configurations and applications.
Manufacturers around the world are facing major challenges in having to produce a high mix and low volume of products and shorter product life cycles while dealing with labour shortage issues. Therefore, manufacturing companies must maintain flexibility in quick changeovers and production line layout changes. They are also challenged by sudden stops, and more than ever need to meet the demands of high accuracy and speed during assembly processes.
To meet these challenges, the i4 line features better communication through EtherCAT, enabling synchronisation between other automation devices. This facilitates advanced assembly, inserting and mounting processes that require high accuracy and demanding throughput, as well as ensured quality control with vision integration.
Also, i4 visualises working data and supervises its status with the world’s first built-in signals for preventive maintenance, allowing users to mitigate unplanned downtime. In keeping with Omron’s mission to innovate based on social need like the above, the features of the i4 makes it possible for this new SCARA line to meet the demands of mass customisation, allowing manufacturers to produce high mixes of products at low volume to offer a wider array of goods to people.
1. Fast and easy installation
The compact controller (iCS) is fully integrated into a stylised base, minimising footprint and less wiring with no flyover cable, and making the i4 effortless to install. The i4 also has the world’s first design of EtherCAT module, connected directly on the robot controller and arm, which allows users more flexibility in configuring the equipment. The i4 series will run on interactive software that will make it easier to users to program and use the robots.
2. No unpredicted downtime
The i4 is the world’s first SCARA robot with a built-in display designed to simplify troubleshooting and predictive maintenance. The i4 communicates with users to reduce unscheduled downtime, using a light ring and display embedded into the base that indicates the right operations to perform at the right times. The light rings serve as the world’s first robot “health” lighting indicator, informing users of its current mode, such as, “warranty update required”. With the new i4, manual checks and maintenance plans are no longer necessary, which can save opportunity loss.
3. High speed and high accuracy
Omron’s new i4 has EtherCAT connectivity, which allows the i4 robots to easily communicate with other equipment in the production line. By synchronising the i4 with Omron’s devices such as controllers, vision sensors and servo motors, customers will benefit by establishing the most optimal production line with advanced speed and accuracy. This will enable complex assembly tasks that were not possible before.
4. Satisfying flexibility needs
The i4 SCARA family will meet various customer needs, optimising machine cost and overall performance and enabling more flexible line expansions. In spring 2019, Omron will introduce the first three models: the i4-650, i4-750 and i4-850, which have an arm reach of 650mm, 750mm and 850mm, respectively. The payload can hold up to 15kg, which is three times heavier than before. Customers also have a choice of two different Z-axis strokes (210mm and 410mm) for each robot.
Special models will include the IP65, Clean Room ISO 4 (Class 10), ESD and models that use H1 grease – meeting the specific needs of various industries and applications. The i4 will also come with an inverted model with the same sophisticated design.
The launch of the i4 series is part of a larger Omron strategic concept called the “innovative-Automation!” initiative, which aims to innovate the manufacturing environment. By introducing the new SCARA family, Omron continues to pursue remarkable enhancements in labour-saving and productivity for the manufacturing industry. Follow the link for more information about Omron’s industrial robots.