Motion Control & Drives

Omron introduces new i4 Scara family

August 2018 Motion Control & Drives

Omron has announced that it will introduce a new line of Scara robots, boasting sleek design and enhanced performance. Named the ‘i4’, the new generation robots will save space during installation and allow easier configuration into existing production lines. The i4 is fast, repeatable, easy to operate and flexible for multiple configurations and applications.

Manufacturers around the world are facing the challenges of having to produce a high-mix-low volume of products and shorter product life cycles while dealing with labour shortage issues. Therefore, manufacturing companies must maintain flexibility in quick changeovers and production line layout changes. They are also challenged by sudden stops, and more than ever need to meet the demands of high accuracy and speed during assembly processes.

To meet these challenges, the i4 line features better communication through EtherCAT, enabling synchronisation between other automation devices. This facilitates advanced assembly, inserting and mounting processes that require high accuracy and demanding throughput, as well as ensured quality control with vision integration. Also, i4 visualises working data and supervises its status with built-in signals for preventive maintenance, allowing users to mitigate unplanned downtime.

In keeping with Omron’s mission to innovate based on need, the features of the i4 make it possible for this new Scara line to meet the demands of mass customisation, allowing manufacturers to produce high mixes of products at low volume to offer a wider array of goods to people.

Key features

Fast and easy installation

The compact controller (iCS) is fully integrated into a stylised base, minimising footprint and less wiring with no flyover cable, and making the i4 effortless to install. The i4 also has the world’s first design of EtherCAT module, connected directly on the robot controller and arm, which allows users more flexibility in configuring the equipment.

The i4 series will run on interactive software that will make it easier for users to program and use the robots.

No unpredicted downtime

The i4 is the first Scara robot with a built-in display designed to simplify troubleshooting and predictive maintenance. The i4 communicates with users to reduce unscheduled downtime, using a light ring and display embedded into the base that indicates the right operations to perform at the right times. The light rings serve as a ‘robot health’ lighting indicator, informing users of its current mode, such as, ‘warranty update required’. With the new i4, manual checks and maintenance plans are no longer necessary, which can save opportunity loss.

High speed and accuracy

The new i4 has EtherCAT connectivity, which allows the robots to communicate with other equipment in the production line. By synchronisng the i4 with devices such as controllers, vision sensors and servo motors, customers will benefit by establishing the most optimal production line with advanced speed and accuracy. This will enable complex assembly tasks that were not possible before.

Satisfying flexibility requirements

The i4 Scara family meets the customer’s need to optimise machine costs and overall performance to enable more flexible line expansions. In 2019, Omron will introduce the first three models: the i4-650, i4-750 and i4-850, which have an arm reach of 650 mm, 750 mm and 850 mm, respectively. The payload can hold up to 15 kg, which is three times heavier than before. Customers also have a choice of two different Z-axis strokes (210 mm and 410 mm) for each robot.

Special models will include the IP65, clean room ISO 4 (Class 10), ESD and models that use H1 grease – meeting the specific needs of various industries and applications. The i4 will also come in an inverted model with the same sophisticated design. By introducing the new Scara family, Omron continues to pursue remarkable enhancements in labour-saving and productivity for the manufacturing industry.


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