Level 4 – Industrial Robots
Unit code L/617/3940
Unit level 4
Credit value 15
Industrial robotics is the present and future of automated manufacturing and is an unstoppable reality. With the emergence of lighter, smarter and safer industrial robot models that are increasingly easy to interface, the demand has never been so high and is expected to grow year on year. Popular applications for industrial robots include welding, painting, assembly and materials handling. Modern industrial robots are now an integral part of cyber-physical mechatronic systems contributing to Industry 4.0 manufacturing.
The aim of this unit is for students to investigate the range, operation and benefits of industrial robots within manufacturing applications. Among the topics included are industrial robot selection, and programming and safety protocols that anticipate future developments in industrial robot technology.
On successful completion of this unit students will have an understanding of the electrical, mechanical, hydraulic and pneumatic operation of common industrial robots, how to select and program an industrial robot for a given requirement, taking account of safety considerations, and how to assess the economic future of robot technologies in manufacturing.
By the end of this unit students will be able to:
- Describe the operational characteristics, selection criteria and applications of industrial robots within manufacturing industries
- Explain the safety standards associated with industrial robots
- Program an industrial robot for automated process application
- Investigate the global economic scope of industrial robots and integration into smart
LO1 Describe the operational characteristics, selection criteria and applications of industrial robots within manufacturing industries
Types and selection:
Operational characteristics: Cartesian, cylindrical, spherical, toroidal, SCARA
Selection: number of axes; load, orientation, speed, travel, precision, environment and duty cycle parameters (LOSTPED); anthropomorphic robots
Common Brands: e.g. Fanuc, Yaskawa and ABB.
Welding, painting, material handling, packaging, assembly, inspection, dangerous and robust working environments, repetitive tasks.
Operation and characteristics of 6-axis industrial robots:
Controller: motion controller, motor drives, power supplies, human−machine
Manipulator: sensing, brakes, axis motor, effector motor, environment sensing Tooling: grippers, types, interfaces
Axis operation: purpose of each axis, work area, reach, wrist roll, pitch and yaw motion, rotation, home position and calibration
End effectors: types of gripper tools and hands, two-jaw, vacuum and magnetic.
LO2 Explain the safety standards associated with industrial robots
Functional Safety: IEC61508, Hazard and Risk Assessment
Robot and robot system safety: ANSI/RIA R15.06-2012, BS EN ISO 10218:2011
Cell safety features: operating envelope, space restrictions; operating safeguards, emergency stops, guarding, barriers, interlocks, light curtains, laser, two-hand controls, scanners, floor mats; barrier sizing – around, under, through, over (AUTO)
Operational modes, user interfaces.
LO3 Program an industrial robot for automated process application
E.g. data objects, instruction lists, BASIC, MATALB, Python, Yaskawa, MotoSim Enhanced Graphic Virtual Robot Control, ABB, RobotStudio, Fanuc Roboguide, Denso Wincaps III.
Robot application programming:
Types: joint-level, robot-level and high-level programming
Command and control: graphical user interfaces, point-n-click, scheduling software
Tasking software: drag-n-drop, specific application deployment, scripted language, lead by the nose
Online: joysticks, pendants, jogging, modifying existing positions Computer simulation offline programming.
Controlling robots with programmable logic controllers (PLCs; see Unit 18) Robot commands: motion, interlock and sensor
Manufacturers’ languages: ABB Rapid, Kuka KRL, Yaskawa Inform.
LO4 Investigate the global economic scope of industrial robots and integration into smart factories
Major markets: Japan, USA, China, South Korea, Germany Application demand: automotive, electrical and electronics, metal Robot density; impact on workforce; training of workforce.
Advances in robot technology:
Machine vision, artificial intelligence (AI), collaborative robots (cobots), edge computing, simplified integration, networked robots, cloud robotics, virtual reality robots; training of robots; role of robotics in Industry 4.0.