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Yaskawa Motoman Robot History

Yaskawa  Motoman Robotics has several locations worldwide, including locations in the USA, Mexico,and Canada. It also has distributors in other countries such as Turkey, Russia, and Poland. The Motoman USA headquarters is currently located in West Carrollton, Ohio. The parent company of Motoman, Yaskawa Electric Group, also offers super-mechatronic products that have earned extensive acclaim in the semiconductor industry.

Motoman began in 1976 in Europe as a manufacturer and supplier of welding machinery for the automotive industry.  After 20 years of hard work and dedication, they were established as a major brand on the European market and their great success led to becoming part of Yaskawa Electric Corporation. 

Motoman is proud to be known for their amazing customer service and countless innovations. These are seen with world's first robot controller (MRC) that could control two robots, the NX100 controller that could operate up to four robots, the 7-axis single-arm, IA20, and the 13-axis dual-arm DA20 robots, both that had a revolutionary arm concept resulting in extraordinary freedom of movement. Continue to read below for more precise details of the exceptional job Motoman has done in conquering the industrial robot market. Yaskawa Motoman Robot Palletizer

1977 Yasnac RB and Motoman L10: The Motoman L10 was introduced in 1977.  It featured five axis, a maximum workload of 10 kg, and weighted 470kg. The Motoman L10 was the first robot that Yaskawa introduced on the market. 

1980 Yasnac Control System RG:  The Motoman RC Control system was introduced in 1980 and gave the ability to control up to six axes. The programming capacity was increased to 1000 positions (600 instructions) and the maximum number of jobs stored in the magnetic memory was still 99 (external memory was on tapes). 

1982 Motoman L10W: The Motoman L10W was introduced in 1982 with a work area that was increased by 80%. It also featured a robot wrist that was more narrow and capable of a maximum workload of 10kg. The 280kg robot was made of a light aluminum alloy which helped reduce the size of its motors.

1983 Motoman L10WA:  The world's first six axis robot that  featured an extra wrist axis, called A. The RG control system could handle this robot model and the ordinary L10W with an external axis. However, the L10W models were almost exclusively used with the next generation controller RX.

1983 Yasnac Control System RX: The RX controller introduced the ability to control up to eight axes, the robot's six, plus two external. 

1985 Motoman L-Series:  The release of a whole series of robots meant that several models could be operated with the same type of control system. The L-series included robots able to handle a workload up to 120kg. There was direct drive on the three wrist axes, RBT. The series included the following models: L106, L15, L30,  L60, and L120.

1988 Motoman ERC Control System:  The ERC control system was able to control 12 axes, more than any other controller at the time. It had a lot of improved features like electronic seam tracking (Comarc II) and Multi Layer functions which meant that external sensors and seam tracking devices were no longer necessary. 

1988 Motoman K Series:  The K series was introduced with the Motoman K10S, a six-axis, 10kg payload robot. The K series of robots had a direct drive on all six axes. This meant that the power was transferred to the axes directly and not through a long chain of transmissions or link-arms. The other models in this series included: K3S, K6SB, K30WSB, and the K100S.

1989 Motoman Inc.:  Motoman Inc. is officially formed as a joint venture between Hobart Brothers and Yaskawa Electric. Motoman is the first to offer a three-year warranty in the robot industry, the MotoMax III.

1989 ArcWorld:  Motoman creates the ArcWorld series, the industry's first standard, pre-engineered arc welding solutions.

1994:  The Motoman MRC control system offered the ability to control up to 21 axes. It could also synchronize the motions of two robots. The MRC controller introduced new functions well suited for material handling and necessary when synchronizing two robots.

1994 Motoman SK Series:  The Motoman SK-series introduced a line of robots that focused on improved performance. The maximum workload was increased by 300% and dual robot control became a reality. The use of the revolutionary Sigma series AC servo motors delivered increased productivity. These motors were 1/3 of the weight and size of previous motors with equivalent output ratings. The small footprint and arm diameter of the SK-series robots reduced interference zones and increased the working range. The lower mass and higher motor output allowed for greater axis speeds. The SK-series of robots included: SK16, SK6 C, SK16-6, SK45, SK45-30, SK120, and the SK300.

1995 Troy, Ohio:  Motoman opens a new production facility to build 120kg and 150kg robot arms that are ANSI/RIA compliant.

1998 Motoman XRC Control System:  The introduction of the XRC controller allowed the control of up to 27 axes and the synchronized control of three to four robots. The XRC control system has a RISC processor and a Windows oriented interface with directories and folders. Several types of PC-software for job editing, file transfer, and offline programming and simulation are available. Some interesting new features introduced with XRC include: Form Cutting (used in laser, plasma, or water cutting), shock sensor functions, and the ability to have acceleration/retardation in any point. 

1998 Motoman UP-Series:  The UP series introduced a simpler robot arm that is more readily accessible for maintenance and repair. The parallel link arrangement, or yoke, was eliminated. The bearings that flanked the sides of the SK series, providing stiffness and rigidity, gave way to vibration suppression in the servo control loop on the UP series. Other advantages to this arm are far better linear control and circular precision. The first two robots in this series were the UP6 and the UP130. They offer the ability to reach behind themselves to facilitate such things as tool changing. Honda was instrumental in driving the development of both the UP series of arms and the XRC arm control. The other robots in this series include: UP6-C, UP20, UP20-6, UP20M, UP50, UP130, UP165, UP165-100, UP200, and UP350.

1999 Motoman World Solutions:  Motoman celebrated "10 Years, 10,000 Robots!" by expanding the pre-engineered World solutions with the PressWorld and the DieCastWorld.

2000 Motoman PX Series: The PX Painting Expert line of coating robots is introduced with wrist options of 3-roll, Lemma, and hollow.

2000 Ten Year Warranty:  Motoman becomes the first robot manufacturer to offer a 10-year complete robot support program called LIFE.

2001 Motoman EA and ES Series:  Integral process cables made the EA (Expert Arc) and ES (Expert Spot) robots in demand for those applications.

2002 Quad Robot Control:  The ability to program four robots from a single controller was created and named quad robot control. Motoman also released the DX1350, a small arm specifically designed for deburring applications.

2004 Motoman NX100 Control System: The NX100 introduced the ability to control up to 36 axes a color touch screen teach pendant with the Windows CE operating. The robot arm series became specifically designed for specialized applications. Some of the supply cables were moved in order to increase the efficiency of the robots during the application. The EA Series was released as the Expert Arc Welding Series. 

2006 Motoman Introduces a New Arm Design:  A new robot style was released with the introduction of the human sized IA20 (single) and DA20 (dual) robot arms. Both of these arms hide all of the supply cables inside their body. These arms offered human-like flexibility in their movements and were ideal for machine tending, assembly, and even beverage serving! The RoboBar, an automated drink station, grabs national attention.

2007 New Motoman Robots Arms: This year saw the introduction of the world's fastest welding robot, the Super Speed Arc SSA2000 and the Super Speed Flexible SSF2000 handling and general process robot.

2008 New Motoman Painting Robots:  The Expert Paint EPX line of robots is launched. This year also saw the release of the next generation of human-like robot arms. The SDA10 and the SIA20 were introduced with slim profiles and improved acceleration.

2009 Dual Arm Robots:  Motoman comes out with their new dual arm robots: DX100, SDA10, VA1400.

2010 Yaskawa Motoman Robotics:  Motoman Inc. and Yaskawa Electric America combine to form Yaskawa America with a Motoman Robotics Division. This change allows the company to more effectively target the global marketplace.

2010 New Facilities: Yaskawa Motoman breaks ground on a new 300,000 sq ft facility as they make a move from West Carrollton and Troy to Miamisburg, Ohio.

2011 Faster Pick-and-Place Robot: A newer body style for quicker pick-and-place and sorting applications with Motoman's new FS100 & MPP3 robots.

We are excited to continue watching Motoman innovate and bring amazing industrial robot solutions across the globe!