Today at PACK EXPO, Epson Robots (which bills itself as the top SCARA robot manufacturer in the world) announced an expansion of its industrial SCARA robot line with new T-Series all-in-one robots with built-in controllers. The design (with a price starting at around $7,500, according to early sources) reduces space requirements and simplifies setup.
The first available robot of the series is the T3 — a cost-effective and simple-to-integrate automation robot for basic applications such as pick and place, assembly, parts handling, and dispensing applications in electronic components and industrial automotive, medical development, lab automation, and consumer-electronics applications.
Epson Robots supplies PC-controlled precision factory automation with an installed base of more than 55,000 robots and hundreds of products that include SCARA, Cartesian and 6-Axis robots based on a common PC platform.
T-Series robots are available now and are on display at PACK EXPO in Las Vegas in Booth S-6372. Expect more from The Robot Report on the T3 after our booth tour later today.
In a preshow interview with Rick Brookshire, senior manager at EPSON Robots, we got more details on packaging-type uses for the T3. “The T3 has the same intuitive software and features of our high-end robots, which lends power and simplicity to even simple applications,” he said. “The miniaturization of many of its components plus the elimination of a controller chassis and other components helped reduce overall cost.”
Variations of the T3 also leverage the manufacturer’s feedback offerings. “Conveyor tracking and machine vision allow the robots to visually monitor environments … and in fact, one of claims to fame is built-in vision that lets users calibrate the vison to the robot without having to go outside into a separate programming environment,” noted Brookshire. That makes it easier for users to install vision-guided robot systems so ubiquitous in packaging.
When pressed on the accuracy of these variations, Brookshire was quick to underscore the T-Series competitive performance. “When assembling electronics such as cellphones, one might need 30-µm precision to put the amplifiers and speakers and all the rest into the unit correctly. In contrast, when putting that cellphone in a box for retail sale, 200 to 300 µm is often plenty sufficient. Our vision systems are precise and robust enough to satisfy both types of tasks,” said Brookshire.
The T3 robot includes a built-in controller (conveniently housed in the robot’s base) and runs at 110 or 220 V with no battery required for its encoders. That in turn reduces factory downtime for maintenance (and battery swaps). The compact robot also reduces total cost of installation and integration for factory automation projects — and is suitable for simple applications. In fact, it’s even more cost-effective than Cartesian setups using multi-axis linear slides.
“Our T3 is a powerful, low-cost automation setup designed for easy integration, which helps lower total cost of ownership versus current products for manufacturers and system integrators,” said Gregg Brunnick, director of product management for Epson Robots. “It’s suitable for customers looking to automate their factories without wasting time or money on complex slide-based setups.”
Here’s a rundown of the T3’s features: Efficient operation means it fits seamlessly into automation workflows and needs less time and money for system integration than most other setups. It installs in minutes, unlike linear slide-based systems. As mentioned, there’s an integrated vision-guidance option specifically for robot guidance; that makes it easy to automate simple applications when vision is required. The T3 is a tabletop mount; the arm length of joints 1 and 2 is 400 mm; its payload rating is to 1 kg, with a maximum to 3 kg. Repeatability of joints 1 and 2 is to ±0.02 mm; of joint 3 is to ±0.02 mm; of joint 4 is to ±0.02° — and standard cycle time is 0.54 sec. Maximum ranges of motion for the four axes is ±132°and ±141° and 150 mm and ±360° — with the total weight of the T3 (not including cables) 35 lb. Its built-in controller is housed in the base; the T3 also comes in variations to allow for connectivity via Ethernet/IP, EtherCAT, DeviceNet, PROFIBUS, PROFINET, and CC-Link fieldbus — plus a GUI Builder and other integrated options to help reduce development time; and the T3 takes less space than linear-slide setups but delivers a large work envelope.
Epson’s existing lineup of 3-kg-payload SCARA robots includes the G-Series, RS-Series, and LS-Series for industrial use. The G-Series robots deliver industry-known speed, precision, and low vibration … RS-Series robots mount overhead for maximum work envelope thanks to their unique arm design. In contrast, the LS-Series robots deliver performance at low cost. Addition of the T-Series (and competitive price) means the Epson lineup meets even more application requirements.
“With the T-Series robot setups, users don’t have to worry about performance or cost and can maximize productivity, said Brunnick. “Feedback from many key customers, including manufacturers and system integrators, has been positive — with some already moving to replace slide-based systems with the all-in-one T3.”