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A Multi-Robot Assembly System Builds Water Meters


In this small part assembly demonstration, five FANUC M-1iA/0.5A six-axis robots showcase their high speed and accuracy in assembling water meters. There are five stages to this application. The water meter sub-assemblies move on a conveyor from left to right through the five stages of assembly. The first four robots are designated for piecing together the sub-assembly, while the fifth and final stage of the process is for inspection of the completed assembly.

At the first stage of the assembly, a FANUC M-1iA/0.5A uses iRVision to locate the position of a pallet containing two water sub-assemblies, and accurately inserts four pins into the base. In the second stage, a robot uses iRVision to locate a series of gears, and uses gear meshing to insert the gears into the sub-assembly. The third stage is much like the second stage in that it also uses gear meshing to insert a fourth and fifth gear into the sub-assembly. In the fourth stage, a robot uses iRVision to locate and insert two springs into sockets on the sub-assembly, and accurately places a display into the socket. In the final stage of the assembly, a fifth M-1iA robot uses a robot-held camera with iRVision to inspect each insertion point of the parts to ensure complete assembly.

These M-1iA robots, along with FANUC's built-in robotic vision system -- iRVision -- make for an ideal solution for a variety of small part manufacturing needs.

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Key Technology Demonstrated


FANUC M-1iA Robot (Product Information Sheet)

  • Ideal for small part assembly and picking and packing applications.
  • Lightweight and compact size.
  • Ability to work in small spaces.
  • iRVision is built-in.
  • Can be installed in multiple orientations.
  • 4-axis and 6-axis variants.
  • A 3-axis wrist makes the M-1iA extremely flexible and versatile compared to traditional SCARA robots.
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