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Reducing Cycle Time in Industrial Robotic Applications

Today's competitive industrial environments demand high throughput rates. Since robots are fast by design and range in size, they can assist industry and handle applications ranging from small to large payloads, and can perform a variety of tasks with ease in order to increase productivity. Many mid-size robots specialize in fast, flexible movements. For example, the FANUC Robotics R -2000iB robot, used in applications for Automotive Spot Welding and General Assembly, possesses high-performance motion which yields fast cycle times and high throughput by design. The FANUC Robotics R-1000iA/100F robot, a compact and highly efficient robot, reaches the fastest speeds in its class. It is used in several applications such as High Density Spot Welding, Machine Load/Unload, Material Handling, Packing and Palletizing, Dispensing, Material Removal, and other General Industry applications. However, even with today’s industrial robots that are very fast and efficient, what would happen if robots could learn in such a way that they could move faster and produce even more product in the same amount of time?

“Gakushu” — The Learning Robot

A higher playback speed provides great benefit to manufacturers in terms of throughput and cycle time. Traditionally, due to a high payload, complex path, or other process parameters, a robot’s speed might be limited for a particular application. FANUC Robotics' Learning Vibration Control (LVC) , developed by FANUC Corporation, allows FANUC robots to learn and streamline their motion to achieve higher overall speeds.

Robots with the LVC function are called “Gakushu” (or Learning) Robots. The LVC function is used on a robot after its path has been taught for the application. An accelerometer is added to the end of arm tooling and the taught path is run several times so LVC can learn important information about the robot’s motion. After the learning process is complete, a Gakushu Robot stores the learned data after which the sensor can be removed. As the Gakushu robot performs its production operation from that point forward, the learned data is applied and faster motion is achieved while vibrations are kept to a minimum. With the LVC function, cycle time for a Gakushu Robot can be improved up to 10–15% to allow for higher throughput rates in many applications.

In addition, unusually large end-of-arm tooling can sometimes shake due to a long distance from the robot faceplate to the tool center point. The Gakushu Robot improves process quality in applications with large end-of-arm tools by reducing or eliminating these vibrations.

Learning Vibration Control Video Example

Learning Vibration Control Video Example

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