With the ability to facilitate extremely fast and precise operation for small part processing tasks, it’s no surprise that SCARA (Selective Compliance Articulated Robot Arm) robot usage is expected to nearly double by 20261 .
While the greater adoption of Industry 4.0 technologies, along with the growing need to accommodate mass production with minimal operational costs, has been a key driver for this robot utilization, what is it about SCARA robots that a growing number of manufacturers find so appealing?
Well-suited for a Variety of Tasks
While four-axis SCARA robots are ideal for a variety of applications, including sortation, dispensing, inspection, 3D printing, laser engraving and pick-and-place, they are highly suitable for assembly and insertion tasks. Since horizontal articulated SCARA robots are only compliant in the X and Y axis, they are mechanically very rigid in the Z-Axis (generally more than delta robots and six-axis robots of similar payloads). This enables high-speed SCARA robots like Yaskawa’s SG-series robots (SG400 and SG650) to exert up to 150N (~34lbs) of force in the up-down direction, making them ideal for assembly and insertion applications.
Easily Integrated with Existing Automation
SCARA robots have a small footprint and easily integrate with existing robot applications and other machinery to expand current automated processes. From their compact design which minimizes mounting space, to their high work envelope to mounting surface ratio, these robots offer a simplified design compared to six-axis robot arms. Similarly, SCARA robots offer extremely fast operation without the need for an overhead structure like delta robots, making them an attractive option for high-density layouts and quick deployments.
Optional MLX300 integration enables the SG-series SCARA robots to be programmed and controlled using widely accepted Rockwell Automation Programmable Logic Controllers (PLCs.) This allows seamless integration into existing automation and requires minimal operator training by leveraging the existing knowledge and experience of PLC programmers.
Quick and Efficient Installation
A single cable is usually all that is needed to connect SG model robots to the controller. This results in easy setup, as well as reduced expenses for maintenance and spare parts inventory. Built-in air lines, user IO wiring and a hollow tool shaft also serve to simplify tool integration. Plus, a wide variety of fieldbus connectivity options are available.
Highly Precise and Fast Operation
Due to the simplified structure SCARA robots offer, they are often faster and less expensive than six-axis robots, making them an ideal "middle ground" choice in terms of cost and speed between deltas and six-axis articulated arms. Yaskawa SG-series robots offer the highest operating performance in their class, and they are ideal for high-precision operation with a repeatability of ±0.01 mm.
Easy Vision Integration
SCARA robots can also be easily integrated with vision functionality, such as MotoSight™ 2D – a Cognex In-Sight based vision system that provides feature-rich functionality. This can reduce the cost of expensive tooling for locating parts and enable quick redeployment as parts change.
Compact Controller with Intuitive Programming
Floorspace availability is often a concern for manufacturers. For this reason, a growing number of robots are now controlled by compact, yet robust, controllers. Together, the SG-series robots and the YRC1000micro controller take compact to the next level. The ultra-compact YRC1000micro is the same controller used on select six-axis Yaskawa robots. This controller utilizes a lightweight standard teach pendant with intuitive programming, and it can be installed in either a vertical or horizontal position, as well as within a 19-inch rack, optimizing valuable floorspace.
Extraordinary Production Results
Simply put, highly flexible, precise and compact SCARA robots are helping manufacturers attain extraordinary production results, while requiring minimal capital investment. Whether you are looking to add robots for the first time, or you are part of an established company wanting to implement extra technology for handling production pitfalls, SCARA robots can catapult momentum for an array of tasks across multiple industries (plastics, electronics, auto components, food and beverage, clinical laboratory, appliance, medical device, etc.), boosting production and accelerating return on investment (ROI) in a rocky market.
See A LIVE Demonstration to Learn More
To learn more about the key features and functionality of Yaskawa SG-series robots, watch
our live demonstration, showcasing the four-axis SG650 SCARA robot.
1 SCARA Robot Market Size to Grow $14.78 Billion by 2026, Allied Market Research, 2020
Michael Castor is a Product Manager