YASKAWA has announced its newly developed MOTOMAN-PL series of robots. The new additions bring 4 additional options of palletising robots to complement its existing models. They cater for lightweight palletising applications as well being able to handle larger, heavier items
The new PL Series robots from Yaskawa are compatible with its established YRC1000 robot controller, thus ensuring easier set-up and ease-of-use, along with improved energy-saving performance thanks to a power generation function. In addition, the 2 new PL models (the 190 and 320) are designed to be more user-friendly (and slimmer) than the previous MPL series and have an improved payload capacity. Handling heavy items with packaging present requires a combination of a soft grip as well as power and typically air-drive or suction is the solution with attendant paperwork and cabling: with its new PL models Yaskawa has adopted a large diameter hollow structure for the wrist shaft at the tip of the arm which eliminates the risk of interference with peripheral equipment and the robot arm itself.
This design also provides a wider operating range in height and is said to be more flexible in this respect as it can be loaded up to the optimum pallet size. Improved energy saving is claimed due to use of the YRC1000 robot controller on the medium and larger robots. It features a power regeneration function enabling energy to be generated when the motor is decelerated, a feature whihc has proven to reduce power consumption by up to 30%, depending on the operating conditions at each installation. Also, as the connection between the controller and the robot is via a single cable, users benefit from reduced wiring and therefore less set-up time says Yaskawa.
Optimising communication between the robot controller and manipulator is critical to the overall system performance and its maintainability and Yaskawa says that the new PL models include features which help. For example, when the communication line inside the manipulator is disconnected or an encoder error of each axis servo motor occurs, an error alarm is displayed on the programming pendant making it easier to identify the error on the corresponding robot shaft. In addition, they are equipped with a multi-port as standard in each part which enables quicker restoration should the communication line be disconnected.
Finally, Yaskawa’s palletising application software ‘MotoPal’ enables automatic generation of robot operation programs, simply by setting conveyor and station positions, product sizes and loading / unloading patterns.