Which is Better? Scara vs. Cartesian Robots


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 work space, application, and product, you can make the best decision.

Consider Your Work Envelope:
The SCARA or Selective Compliant Assembly (or Articulated) Robot Arm 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. Also known as gantry robots, 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.

Assess Movement:
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 can perform with more speed than a Cartesian robot.

The Cartesian style robot is capable of X, Y, 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, 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 of 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.

Contact RobotWorx representatives online or at 740-251-4312 with additional questions about Scara and Cartesian robots.

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