World's Fastest Robotic Case Packer - Carbon Fiber reduces weight increases throughput
By Mike Hanlon
June 7, 2005
June 8, 2005 Think carbon fiber and you think of expensive helmets, mission-critical lightweight components in Formula 1 racing cars and ... places where strength, performance and light weight are not optional. So a seemingly mundane production line robot is not exactly where you'd expect to find an exotic composite. Light weight components can make a huge difference when they're in the right place though and KUKA Robotics' new KUKA KR 40 PA case packing robot is a prime example.
The robot is the industry's fastest case packing robot and is constructed using a carbon fiber composite. This unique material makes the robot arm lighter, faster and less expensive thereby ultimately increasing the customer's throughput. The new robot delivers the flexibility of a fully programmable robot solution, at rates normally associated with CAM driven mechanisms. Its carbon fiber design enables high speeds with the largest work envelope in industry.
"Robotic packaging and palletizing is reshaping the whole supply chain," said Joe Campbell, director of strategic alliances for KUKA Robotics Corporation. "Our customers want the flexibility of a robot with the highest possible pack rates and the KR40 delivers with the industry's best performance."
The KUKA KR 40 PA four-axis robot is the third mechanism in KUKA Robotics' supply chain automation lineup to utilise carbon fiber material. The robot's base, which houses three of the unit's 4 motors, is made of ductile cast iron giving it stability and strength. With these motors designed into the base and the upper arm being made of carbon fiber composite, KUKA has transferred the bulk of the robot's weight to its lower structure and lightened its upper arm. The lighter weight in the arm keeps the inertial forces low allowing it to move quicker with higher accelerations and decelerations. Its unique work envelope also enables it to be used in homogenous and mixed palletising, as well as high-speed conveyor-tracking material handling applications. The robot's 40kg payload capacity and 2091mm reach supports both 800mm and 1000mm pallet applications. The KR 40 PA robot is available for order today with deliveries beginning in Q3.