Entry-level robots to kick-start new factory automation projects

Mitsubishi Electric is expanding its MELFA CR series of robots by adding a new, slim, long-reach articulated arm model which has an 8kg carrying capacity. The RV-8CRL is suited for users seeking economical machines for low-to-medium complexity applications, allowing a choice between SCARA and six-axis solutions at a similar price point.

While robots are becoming increasingly common on the factory floor, they do require investment and the Return On Investment (ROI) must be clear for any business interested in adopting them. In this context, Mitsubishi Electric says that its latest MELFA CR series of robots can help make that decision easier. The new model is aimed at entry-level manufacturing applications where the dexterity of a six-axis articulated robot is necessary but the actual task it is performing is not super-complex.

The RV-8CRL has an arm reach of 931mm and an installation pitch of just 160mm (the installation pitch is the parallel distance between centres for each of the four fixing bolt points on the base). The robot is designed to minimise the required capital investment for such a machine, and to help achieve this Mitsubishi Electric has drawn on manufacturing processes used with other models to refine its production costs down. For users, managing the robot is claimed to be simple as major functions are handled by a dedicated CR800 robotic controller. Further programming of the new system does not differ from Mitsubishi's MELFA FR series of industrial robots; in both cases this is carried out via the intuitive RT ToolBox3 software. Seamless communication with other robots and devices is achievable via Ethernet, making networking as straightforward as possible.

When running, the new robot features the same level of accuracy and repeatability as the top-performance MELFA FR series, just at lower speeds. The main difference in operational capabilities between the two lies in the ability of the FR models to accelerate and work at higher speeds, increasing overall machine performance and productivity. The new machine is said to be suitable for a wide range of general applications, typically pick-and-place, material handling, loading and unloading, machine tending, parts assembly and quality inspections. The robot is designed to be equipped with grip systems and vision sensors to support technically demanding applications. It does also offer plug-and-play compatibility with MELSERVO MR-J4 servos to quickly create task-based systems such as a conveyor feed set-up: here with CR800 controlling up to 8 axes, providing simultaneous control of the robot and the servos.

Mitsubishi Electric states that the RV-8CRL can also become a cobot. Similar to other articulated arm robots from the company, the new model is compatible with MELFA SafePlus, which allows it to work alongside human operators and support cooperative setups without the need for special safety PLCs. Key functions within this framework include Safe Limited Speed and Position as well as Safe Torque Off.

Learn more about the RV-8CRL robot at gb3a.mitsubishielectric.com.

Mitsubishi Electric Europe B.V.

Travellers Lane
AL10 8XB

+44 (0)1707 288780



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