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FANUC M-1iA Robot for Picking and Placing Small Springs

A wire spring manufacturer needed a solution to a tedious, labor-intensive pick and place packaging line. RobotWorx chose a delta-style FANUC M-1iA/0.5A robot to automate the application. The unique, parallel-link design of the M-1iA provided the speed and care required for this application.


Application Goals:

Automate Manual Job: The application requires that tiny springs made from 0.010" wire, each with just 6.5 coils, be picked off a conveyor and placed in designated pockets on a moving line of polystyrene tape. 

Pick and Place Robot: The manufacturing company needed a robot that would move the springs quickly, efficiently while maintaining a compact footprint.

EOAT: In addition to having the right robot, it was also vital to have the right tooling solution. The small, lightweight wire springs needed to handled with care and precision. RobotWorx worked to design the best possible tooling solution, ending up with a magnetic gripper.

Robotic Vision: This pick and place application required a robotic vision system. The robotic vision system allows the robot (in this case a FANUC M-1iA) to find the randomly arranged springs as they arrived on the conveyor, locate the tape, and place the springs in the right places.

Throughput: The company needed to increase through put to 6500 (at least) springs per hour.

Safety: The robotic system needed to be completely safeguarded in order to protect equipment and workers. 


RobotWorx Solution Details:

Fanuc M1iA/0.5A: RobotWorx selected a brand new 6-axis M-1iA/05A robot (also known as the Genkotsu and/or spider robot). This parallel-link robot is well-suited for lightweight pick and place applications. It offers a 1kg payload capacity, 6-axis delta-style flexibility and tabletop mounting capabilities. The M-1iA is extremely compact, saving valuable floorspace, and easily outfitted with vision systems.

Advanced Controller: The system comes with a powerful FANUC R30iA control unit and user-friendly teach pendant.

Fanuc Licensed Software: RobotWorx is an Authorized Systems Integrator for FANUC. Every new FANUC robot comes complete with FANUC licensed software, in this instance, material handling software.  

Conveyor: A new, eight-foot, belt-driven conveyor was also included and integrated into the robotic system. The conveyor came with an encoder and line-tracking software.

Fanuc iRVision Package: The spring pick and place application needed an intelligent vision system to orient and guide the robot. RobotWorx outfitted the robotic system with a 2D tracking vision package. The package included lighting and two cameras (hi-res and std-res).

Vacuum EOAT: In order to handle the tiny springs delicately, RobotWorx chose to attach a small vacuum gripper to the M-1iA tooling plate. A vacuum generator and mount were part of the tooling package.

Safety Package: The complete system is comprised of extruded aluminum framing and clear polycarbonate walls. A single entry equipped with an electronic interlock allows an operator to enter the cell to change the tape reel.

Riser/Table: A riser to elevate the M-1iA/0.5A robot and a work table for the polystyrene tap dispenser were part of the final cell configuration.

Training and Warranty: Free training at RobotWorx facility and a two year (100% parts, 100% labor) warranty were included with the system.