Yaskawa Motoman has introduced new models of its popular "Ferris Wheel" part positioners. Two servo-driven trunnion/station axes are on opposite sides of a central "sweep" axis; one station is positioned in front of one to four welding robots, while the other station is outside the robot envelope where the operator loads/unloads parts. The 180-degree sweep axis rotates the stations over/under the central axis between the robot(s) and the operator.
New slim-line positioner models have a 17% smaller width than standard positioners and are available with 755 kg (RM2-755SL) and 1,255 kg (RM2-1255SL) payload capacities. This slim-line design is similar to previous 250/750 kg models with an overall positioner width only 1 m wider than the part span (standard lengths are 2 and 3 meters); the positioner can rotate parts up to 1.3 m diameter. The higher capacity 1,255 kg model was introduced to support mechanized automotive part fixtures and construction machinery parts.
A new extra-large capacity positioner was designed to provide a higher payload (two models) and turning diameters in a reduced profile. The new models feature a 1,555 kg (RM2-1555) and 2,355 kg (RM2-2355) payload capacities. These larger scale positioners are suitable for truck exhaust assemblies or agriculture/construction machinery components, and they have a turning diameter capacity of 1,524 mm (60 in) and 1,778 mm (70 in) with standard part spans of 3 or 4 meters.
All three axes are servo-driven, saving cycle time by allowing parts to turn into position while the positioner "sweeps". Motion of the headstock in front of the robot(s) can be coordinated to the robot(s) to make circumferential welds while the part rotates. The load station can be "jogged" by the operator to an ergonomic load position or to facilitate part tracking.
The positioners utilize cast components to provide a modular flexibility to make other positioner configurations. They were designed to be compliant with the updated version of the Robotic Safety Standard (ANSI/RIA R15.06-2012). These positioners are used in Yaskawa Motoman's popular ArcWorld™ IV-6000 series robotic welding workcells. The larger capacity RM2-1555/RM2-2355 models can support an overhead structure for mounting robots in the ArcWorld V-6000 series workcells with reduced footprint.
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