Pick and place robot

Fanuc’s new M-2iA pick and place delta style robot, which is capable of high speed, accurate pick and place tasks, has been developed in response to an increasing trend driven by confectionery and food producers looking to improve the hygiene of handling raw and unpackaged foods.

“Robot uptake in the confectionery market has grown considerably within the last five years, with producers looking to enhance their competitive edge using high speed, accurate and agile systems – the key benefits of a pick and place robot. Yet most recent demands from producers relate to food safety and the use of robots to improve hygiene, by removing the human element, during the manufacturing process,” commented managing director Chris Sumner.

“Although IP67K certified robots have been commonplace for many years, the very nature of a robot arm, with its many crevices and less durable construction materials, has in the past prevented it from working in harsh environments. Our current focus is on hardening our robots for sanitation, making them able to withstand the harshest of environments and high pressure water hose cleaning, which is often used during confectionery manufacture,” added Chris.

FANUC’s M-2iA is a high speed, ceiling mounted picking and assembly robot with a 3kg payload and ±0.1mm repeatability. Two size options enable it to fit into space restricted areas and its four axis long arm with single axis wrist makes it ideal for picking from a conveyor at extremely high rates – up-to 220 cycles per minute. Designed with a durable high-quality surface treatment, food-grade lubricant and over 20+ end effector options, it is ideal for handling unpackaged confectionery including placement of products into trays. The system can also be equipped with the latest intelligent features, including Fanuc iRVision and force sensing.

Operator training on the new M-2iA, to develop skills to achieve optimum equipment performance in a safe operating environment, takes place at Fanuc’s new 3,000m² Coventry based interactive facility. “During the lifespan of a Fanuc robot, typically 25 years, a system will be updated on a number of occasions with new software and different end effectors, enabling it to easily change its occupation in line with brand trends. To keep the robot in good working order, Fanuc guarantees parts for 25 years, including obsolescence avoidance solutions, and services systems quickly with a team of 45 UK based engineers to achieve 99.9% system uptime,” concluded Chris.

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Confectionery Production