It’s a common misconception that integrating robots means spending a lot to completely overhaul production lines and start from scratch. In 2016, Kawasaki introduced the industrial SCARA robot named duAro whose mobile design and safety functionality it said make it suitable for companies of any size. Integrating the duAro into a manufacturing process is a relatively simple change that can benefit the bottom line and can relieve employees from performing menial tasks, said Kawasaki.
The duAro is the first dual-armed horizontal articulated robot to operate on a single axis. This configuration enables the robot to perform coordinated movements, much like a human, making it suitable for applications such as small-part inspection, assembly, material handling, material removal and machine tending.
As the robot is designed to fit into a single-person space, it can easily be deployed without modifications to any assembly or manufacturing line, claimed Kawasaki. The mobile base on which the dual-arms are placed also accommodates the controller, allowing the user to move the unit to any location desired.
The duAro’s design also reflects the need to keep its human co-workers safe. Low-power motors, a soft body, speed, and work-zone monitoring, and a deceleration function allows the duAro to safely collaborate with humans in work operations. In the unlikely event of a collision, Kawasaki said, the collision-detection function would instantaneously stop the robot’s movement.
The duAro robot’s direct teach function allows for the user to teach the robot tasks by hand guiding its arms. In addition, the robot can be programmed through a tablet terminal by entering numerical values indicating the direction and distance of each movement. This robot is intended to be user-friendly, with a small installation footprint and mobile base. Kawasaki said it is also suitable for high-mix, low-volume production.
Two Kawasaki dual-arm duAro robots were installed at a Tier 1 auto parts supplier to work together in a machine tending application. With the implementation of these two robots the supplier was able to double their throughput and eliminate errors. This turnkey solution took about nine weeks to implement from initial design to commissioning, and an additional week was used to train employees on how to operate the system.
The design, build, and commissioning of a single unit to a turnkey system can range anywhere from a week to two to three months. With a base price of $33,000, the duAro is a safe, affordable, easy to operate, collaborative robot that can meet the demands for flexible manufacturing, said Kawasaki.