Completely redesigned four-axis machines present new capabilities for sensitive environments
Duncan, SC – (Stäubli will highlight a variety of industry-leading packaging and processing solutions at PACK EXPO in Las Vegas, Sept. 23-25. From sensitive environment robots to high-speed packing robots, Stäubli (booth #LS5956) will address challenges for the food, medical, health care and electronics sectors, applying innovative technology that achieves cost-saving efficiencies and boosts output.
Superior design and performance
Automated solutions for the food industry can present difficult conditions for robotics. Stringent hygiene standards require frequent wash downs to ensure compliance, and many automated solutions are unable to withstand the rigorous requirements of food production. For several decades, Stäubli has invested in the research and development of solutions specific to the food industry, which has resulted in a wide range of robots capable of working in direct contact with fresh food and in a strict hygienic environment.
“Now, all Stäubli four- and six-axis robots are available in both standard and food-grade, humid environment versions, which ensures complete coverage for every aspect of food production, from primary processing to secondary packaging and palletization,” said Sebastien Schmitt, Robotics Division Manager, Stäubli North America.
At PACK EXPO, Stäubli will showcase solutions for case packing with its FAST Picker TP80 and its TS2 SCARA four-axis robot. The completely redesigned four-axis machines feature hollow shaft technology, which allows all the cables to be routed internally to create a revolutionary hygienic design for use in sensitive environments.
“This new series of SCARA robots has been reimagined, incorporating our JCS drive technology that has greatly improved the performance and versatility of our six-axis machines,” said Schmitt. “This allows for ultra-short cycle times and enormous performance gains for the new four-axis TS2.”
The new line consists of four models: the TS2-40, TS2-60, TS2-80 and TS2-100 to provide a solution for a wide range of manufacturing scenarios. With the four-axis TS2-100, Stäubli has extended the working radius of the TS series (400 to 800 millimeters) up to 1,000 millimeters.
Compared to the previous TS models, the new TS2s also feature a more compact design, and each four-axis machine can be ordered with an optional integrated tool change system. This allows the SCARA’s grippers and tools to automatically replace themselves, significantly increasing the uptime in certain applications. Tools or grippers also can be changed manually within seconds by means of a bayonet locking mechanism.
“All media and signal connections are automatic,” said Schmitt. “There is no external bundling of cables and no irregular contours, and the new TS2s feature a completely sealed housing. The quill can be optionally protected with a cover and affixed with special screws and concealed connections can be housed under the robot pedestal. The TS2 offers the latest and greatest in hygienic design.”
The company will showcase an innovative application for primary food processing, featuring a TX2 HE six-axis robot that will demonstrate ultrasonic cutting, cake decorating and bread scoring.
Stäubli also will illustrate the assembly and packaging of medical devices with the TX2 Stericlean, which is the first choice for cleanroom or aseptic processes and applications. Highly stressed parts on the Stericlean series are made of stainless steel and, before the robots receive their topcoat of paint, the surfaces are subjected to a special treatment, which increases corrosion resistance and ensures reliable operation in VHP environments. All Stericlean six-axis robots comply with the strict Good Manufacturing Practice (GMP) Class A guidelines, and their ultra-compact design makes them ideal to take on filling processes in isolators and glove boxes.
Integration ease with Stäubli robots
Stäubli Robotics Suite offers a comprehensive set of powerful yet user-friendly software solutions perfectly adapted for all including end-users, integrators, and OEM’s/machine builders.
“Easy programming and integration into packaging lines is at least as important as the performance of the robotic system itself,” said Schmitt. “Stäubli Robotics has addressed these challenges by developing a unique solution called uniVAL plc, the benefit being one master controller and one language for the machine builder.”
The uniVAL plc is a ready-to-plug solution to drive Stäubli robots with generic industrial multi-axes controllers. The solution operates Stäubli robots with industrial PLCs, connected to the robot controller via a standard fieldbus, meaning there is no need to interface with the Stäubli controller as all programming is completed through the PLC. Motion control is still managed by Stäubli kinematics. A collection of AOIs for multiple PLC manufacturers are available, and Stäubli supports most communication protocols.
In addition, Stäubli Robotics Suite offers all the necessary tools to perform realistic simulations including the offline programming of robotic cells.
To learn more about Stäubli Robotics solutions for packing and processing, visit booth #LS5956 and register at: https://solutions.staubli.com/PackExpo2019.