Expert, Super Speed, Versatile, Master - The number of different Motoman arc welding robots released in the last decade is impressive and a little confusing. Ever wonder how the Motoman arc welding robot evolved from EA to MA? Here's your chance to find out:
These early arc welding robots had sleek 6-axis builds and integrated through-arm cabling. They were capable of exact, speedy movement. Their 3kg payloads and +/- 0.08mm repeatability were well-suited for arc welding. (These design features and performance capabilities remained Motoman arc welding standbys, even as the manufacturer continued to develop other aspects.) The EA1400 provided a reach of 1388mm, the EA1900 a reach of 1893mm. They were designed to work with the XRC 2001 controller.
In 2004, Motoman reintroduced the EA Series. The new and improved EA1400N and EA1900N now worked with the NX100 controller. The reach of the EA1400N and EA1900N was extended slightly to 1390mm and 1904mm and a couple of the main axis speeds increased. The EA1800N, a heavier-payload (15kg) model, was also added to the series.
Super Speed Arc
A few years later, Motoman came out with the SSA "Super Speed" arc welding robot. At first glance this robot seems much like the EA1400N. After all, it has a 3kg payload, 1,390mm reach, NX100 controller, and six axes of flexibility. But looks can be deceiving. The SSA2000 is capable of 15% faster welding cycle times than its predecessors.
How is this achieved? TheSSA2000 is equipped with powerful gear reducers which increase axis speeds by as much as 40%. Motoman specially designed this robot to provide faster "air cut" times. The welding itself does not speed up, but the movement between welds does.
Speed wasn't enough. The next robot needed to be super fast and super flexible. With the VA1400 "Versatile Arc" robot Motoman challenged the basic tenets of industrial robot design. This arc welding robot has seven (not six) axes of movement.
This seventh, E-axis, gives the robotic arm an elbow-like joint. Not only does the VA1400 have better part accessibility, it has the flexibility to always keep the welding torch in the optimal position. Plus, the VA1400 boasts axis speeds that are even faster than the SSA2000.
Motoman introduced the MA "Master Arc" robot series towards the end of 2009. A return to 6-axis design, the MA series provides more options, with five standard robot models: MA1400, MA1650T, MA1800, MA1900,and MA3100, as well as a ceiling/wall versions.
This large robot family offers axis speeds faster than the SSA2000, two extended reach versions (MA1900 and MA3100), a large payload model (MA1800), as well as slimmer profiles and unbeatable dexterity.
Looking into the Future
While the Master Arc series seems hard to beat, it is unlikely that Motoman's quest for the perfect arc welding robot is over.
In the meantime, if you're interested in purchasing any of the Motoman arc welding robots mentioned here, call RobotWorx at 740-251-4312.