SW OCTOBER 2015 - Page 58

AUTOMATION & PAINT ROBOTS Mobile lightweight arm that can take a pounding The core of both sandblasting robots is a LWA 4 lightweight arm with very high load capacity designed by SCHUNK. Secured under a protective cover, the lightweight arms remain unaffected by rust, dust and humidity, as well as the vibrations and shifting stresses of sandblasting. To change location, the robot can either move along the tracks to another location on-site, or be dismantled into compact units and taken away by hand. The unique combination of mobility, robustness, power and lightweight construction make the LWA a multi-functional helper in service robotics. A consistently high repeat accuracy of +/- 0.1 mm provides optimal conditions for precise operations. The lightweight robot is both portable, i.e., movable, as well as mobile. It can carry a maximum load of 15 kg. Its modular design allows the number of degrees of freedom, drive power, and type and length of spacers and joints to be freely defined. Since the boosters and drive control system are directly embedded in the lightweight arm, the system does not require a separate control cabinet. Instead, the entire control and regulator electronics are integrated into the joint drives. Position, speed and torque can be regulated flexibly. Integrated intelligence, universal communication interfaces, and data transmission and power supply cable technology allow the lightweight arm to be integrated quickly and easily into existing control concepts. It can also be controlled by embedded PCs. The individual modules can also be easily controlled using the CAN interface that comes standard in all LWAs, with optional speed or power control. The lightweight arm is particularly energy efficient due to its lightweight, highly rigid design, which pays dividends in mobile applications in the form of long runtimes. Sydney Harbour Bridge – While servicing the Sydney Harbour Bridge, the sandblasting robot does all the dangerous and heavy lifting a worker takes the blaster gun and sees to the more complicated detail work. The payback period for the robot system is around two years. SABRE is currently developing another mobile sandblasting robot in addition to those used for bridges, weighing a maximum of 65kg and that can be easily transported and used for numerous other applications. The central element of this new robot is also an LWA lightweight arm by SCHUNK. Why is the SCHUNK lightweight arm so well-suited for this task? The LWA by SCHUNK is simply unbeatable in its weight class. Its weight-to-load capacity ratio is unparalleled. Industrial robots may be less expensive, but they are way too heavy. They require more effort and huge controls and are usually connected to a 380V cable. The SCHUNK lightweight arm has simple controls, can be controlled remotely, driven by a simple 24V DC generator and is so light that two people ca