Which is Better? Scara vs. Cartesian Robots
Oct 21, 2007
Both the SCARA and Cartesian robot styles offer benefits for pick and place, assembly, and packaging applications. Each robot has unique features, so knowing your specific application needs will help you choose. Contact Robots.com experts today to discuss your workspace, application, and product and make the decision between a SCARA and a Cartesian robot.
Choosing between SCARA and Cartesian robots can be difficult. Both styles provide excellent solutions for pick and place, assembly, and packaging applications, but each robot has unique features and advantages. By understanding these differences, and carefully evaluating your workspace, application, and product, you can make the best decision.
What is a SCARA robot?
SCARA stands for Selective Compliance Assembly (or Articulated) Robotic Arm. SCARA robots are commonly used in assembly applications since SCARA arms are primarily cylindrical in design, but can also be used for other applications. Each robot features two parallel joints that provide compliance in one selected plane.
What is a Cartesian robot?
Cartesian robots, also known as gantry robots, are robots that hang on an overhead track that is above the work area. These are typically used for material handling applications, but can also be used for welding parts on a manufacturing line.
SCARA Robots vs. Cartesian Robots
Although SCARA robots and Cartesian robots, there are a few determining factors to consider when choosing the right robot for your manufacturing line.
Consider Your Work Envelope:
The SCARA robot provides a circular work envelope. This broad movement range allows for added flexibility. SCARA robots have a small footprint and can be built on a smaller scale.
Cartesian robots work from an overhead grid. This type of robot is an accurate, quick solution for material handling applications. Its work envelope is rectangular. The work envelope is determined by the grid — so it can be quite large. The Cartesian robot’s overhead grid can take up overall room but does free up floor space.
The SCARA robot provides more flexibility than the Cartesian robot. Its circular work envelope is created by 4‑axis motions. While rigid, the SCARA robot can move with more flexibility in a horizontal plane. Depending on the application, a SCARA robot can perform with more speed than a Cartesian robot.
The Cartesian-style robot is capable of X, Y, and Z directional movements. Its rigidity allows for more precision. Easy to program and ideal for applications that require movements such as straight-line insertions, the Cartesian robot is a strong, dependable mover.
Keep Your Part in Mind:
How big or small is your product? All the joints on a SCARA robot are located at the end of the arm, with limited payload capacity. SCARA robots are best for smaller-sized parts.
Cartesian robots, on the other hand, are an excellent choice for larger parts. Their payload is larger and fully supported. Because they work from a grid, Cartesian robots provide better accessibility to larger parts.
Remember Protection Needs:
SCARA robots can be safeguarded from hazardous environments. All their joints can be protected and they can be sealed for underwater applications. Cartesian robots, on the other hand, require special covering when working in hazardous environments. They are not able to work underwater.
Find the right robot with Robots.com
Both SCARA and Cartesian robots have different features, so find the right fit with Robots.com. We offer new and refurbished Fanuc, KUKA, Motoman, ABB, and Universal robots. Contact Robots.com representatives online or at 877−762−6881 with additional questions about SCARA and Cartesian robots.
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