Fanuc Robotics debuts packing robot

Rochester Hills, Mich. - Fanuc Robotics North America Inc. is debuting the FANUC M-420iA intelligent packing robot at Worldwide Food from October 18 to 21 in booth #713 at the McCormick Center in Chicago.

By Gary A. Mintchell, senior editor October 23, 2001

Rochester Hills, Mich. Fanuc Robotics North America Inc. is debuting the FANUC M-420iA intelligent packing robot at Worldwide Food from October 18 to 21 in booth #713 at the McCormick Center in Chicago.

The intelligent packing robot is a four-axis, mid-size articulated robot with a payload of 40 kg. It is also available in a two-axis model. Designed for high-speed packaging and material handling applications, the M-420iA is 25 percent faster and can carry 30 percent more weight than competitive robots in its class. The M-420iA can achieve cycle rates of 50 packaging cycles per minute at 30 kg, said to be the fastest motion in its class.

At Worldwide Food, the new M-420iA will be integrated into a small packaging line to show both its high-speed capabilities and its flexible four-axis articulation. The M-420iA will be packaging small food containers at a rate of 50 cans per minute, picking one unit at a time. Once a full tray is accumulated, the robot will move the containers to a second packaging area to show its four-axis dexterity, which is necessary for vision and line tracking integration.

‘By adding this packing robot to our product line, Fanuc Robotics now offers a total system solution for the distribution line from packing to palletizing,’ said Matt Job, engineer, palletizing and packing, Fanuc Robotics. ‘The flexibility and speed of this new packing robot will make it a great solution for our customers.’

With the four-axis unit, up to two motors for servo conveyors or servo hand operations can be connected to the Fanuc standard servo amplifier with no additional hardware. The two-axis unit can have four additional motors. Integrating the additional auxiliary servo motors can help simplify the cell by utilizing one controller to run the complete cell. It will also help to reduce system cost by eliminating the need for additional servo control hardware/software.

The M-420iA is available with several options that provide intelligence to the robot including SimPRO (offline programming simulation software), 2-D and 3-D vision sensors, force sensors, line tracking, and collision detection.

Fanuc Robotics’ VisTRAC vision guided line tracking software is an optional feature of the new M-420iA. VisTRAC allows the robot to pick products from a conveyor (visual picking), track and pick products from a moving conveyor (visual tracking), or identify the location of boxes or cases (visual positioning). Intelligence through vision further maximizes flexibility and minimizes system costs due to the reduction of fixtures required in traditional packing or machine tending systems.