FANUC America has marked the 35th anniversary of manufacturing its line of painting robots at the company’s Rochester Hills, Mich., headquarters, a milestone in the U.S. robotics industry.
Company President, Mike Cicco said, “We have dedicated ourselves to 35 years of product innovation and manufacturing efficiencies to provide our customers with the highest quality paint robots that we design, assemble, and integrate here in the U.S. and export to customers around the world. Throughout 2017, we will be taking a look at where we started, what we have achieved, and what our plans are for the future.”
In 1982, FANUC America produced its first NC Painter, a hydraulic paint robot using key components from parent company FANUC Corp. in Japan. Now, 35 years later, FANUC America remains globally responsible for all paint robots and door openers of the FANUC robot lineup, which are sold to a diverse range of industries including automotive, aerospace, agricultural products, recreational vehicles and boats, furniture, appliance, and medical devices. In fact, FANUC America has supplied its U.S.-made paint robots to all of the top 15 global automakers ranked by the International Organization of Motor Vehicle Manufacturers (OICA).
FANUC America’s U.S.-based product development team designs and implements a wide range of mechanical, electrical, process and software products, including Zero Down Time (ZDT), a cloud-based application that analyzes data collected from FANUC robots, alerting customers of potential issues that need to be addressed before unexpected downtime occurs. “Our local product development team is the industry’s largest with hundreds of years of accumulated engineering experience located here in Michigan,” said Cicco.
All of FANUC America’s new paint robots are ZDT-ready, which means they can monitor a variety of functions including paint canisters, spray applicators, drive health and paint process regulators. In addition, ZDT provides maintenance reminders to notify customers to inspect or replace worn items. Currently, there are more than 800 paint robots now using ZDT analytics with additional robots connected to the cloud each month.
“Having an extensive group of local experts to provide software, product design, assembly and integration of our paint robots allows us to react quickly to customer needs,” said Jon Karr, FANUC America’s VP of Paint Shop Automation.
FANUC America’s paint robots are ideal for automating applications that are ergonomically challenging, hazardous and labor intensive. “We’re seeing a significant increase in paint robot sales to non-automotive customers both domestically and abroad,” said Karr. “These customers want to improve quality and throughput while minimizing their assembly workers’ exposure to hazardous environments, similar to what automakers looked to do back in 1982.”
FANUC America recently introduced its latest paint robot, the P-350iA/45, which will demonstrate sanding, washing and drying an aircraft fuselage at the 2017 Automate Show in Chicago, booth #1625.
The new P-350iA/45 robot is designed for a variety of applications including painting, coating, sanding, and washing, it offers a flexible six-axis design and is Class 1, Division 1 approved for operation in hazardous environments.
FANUC America Corp.