Yaskawa Electric Corp. last week announced that its new MOTOMAN-HC20DT collaborative robot arm is now available. The cobot includes anti-dust and drip-proof features, said the Japan-based company.
Shortages of skilled labor because of aging populations are increasing the need for flexible production, stated Yaskawa. Cobots can work alongside humans without safety fences and are intended to be easier to program and operate than their industrial cousins. However, safety assessments are still required for the end effectors, payloads, and workspaces, noted the company.
Cleaner and bigger
In July, Yaskawa had said it planned to sell collaborative robots with IP67 resistance to dirt, dust, and liquids and with a payload capacity of 10kg (22 lb.). It was designed for fastening screws, assembly, and sorting small parts, as well as picking and packaging, inspection and measurement, and other functions.
Demand for heavier capacity led the vendor to develop the MOTOMAN HC20DT, which can move 20kg (44 lb.).
The cobot’s surface is coated in acrylic urethane, with stainless steel for the tip flange. It can be washed for hygienic purposes, such as in food handling (which requires a systems integrator safety assessment). The global market for food-handling robots will experience a compound annual growth rate of 12.7% to reach $3.1 billion by 2025, predicts Research & Markets.
All axes of the robot arm comply with International Electrotechnical Commission (IEC) anti-dust and drip protection standards.
The robot can be installed in machine-parts and automotive production lines, and it can be used for the simultaneous transport of multiple and heavy workpieces. Yaskawa added that the HC20DT includes a connector for direct attachment of end-of-arm tooling.
The company also developed a built-in Ethernet cable to make it easy to mount a camera. It can be operated with the YRC1000micro, as well as the HC10DT anti-dust and anti-drip functions.
Yaskawa said it hopes that the cobot’s small footprint, ease of use, and ruggedness will help customers meet diversifying needs. Intended applications include machine tending; automotive manufacturing and assembly; and transportation of food, chemicals, or cosmetics.