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Linear and rotary modules combine to challenge traditional robots

Published: 3 July 2013 - Rachael Morling

R. A. Rodriguez has introduced a range of IEF Werner rotaryARM swivel arm modules which, the company claims, are designed to work in combination with its linear motion modules to create fast and cost effective automation systems with advantages over traditional robots.

The simple and compact design of this swivel arm module can be complemented by an integrated turning axis for the gripper, creating a highly effective, space-saving solution. Unlike earlier versions whose movement was restricted to a single 360? turn before returning to the start position, the new rotaryARM design allows continuous rotation resulting in reduced cycle time.  Simplified routing of pneumatic and electric cabling is made possible by utilizing an integrated rotary feed through.

Developed to enhance the component handling for palletising applications the simple design and slim construction results in a low mass of movement. This combined with the integrated turning unit, servo motors and absolute encoders ensure rotaryARM’s high speed and repeatable accuracy.

According to the company, in combination with an IEF Werner x-axis linear module, the rotaryARM has a bigger range compared to SCARA robots. The stroke of the x-axis can be individually specified to suit the customer’s application, therefore increasing the range of the working envelope.

Three standard variants of this new swivel arm module are now available from R. A. Rodriguez to meet the needs of a broad variety of assembly, handling, packaging and palletising applications.

For the handling of rotationally symmetrical devices the first version has an NC-swivel axis but no turning axis; its gripper position changes continuously. On the second variant the gripper turning movement is synchronised by the toothed belt on the swivel axis to provide identical angular speed of swivel and turning axis. The gripper position remains constant during the swivel movement.

An NC-swivel and NC-turning axis are provided on the third variant.  This allows the gripper to be freely positioned during the swivel movement, giving even greater dexterity.

As the maximum payload of the new IEF Werner rotaryARM is 2kg, it is best suited to light weight handling, typically in electronic, automotive component and pharmaceutical production.

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