As the global population continues rising, so does the demand for food. This rise in demand for product is pushing food processors to consider new ways to improve production without decreasing quality or significantly raising costs.
One way to do that is with robotics.
Since Staubli introduced the first hygienic environment (HE) robots in the early 2000s, more and more food processors have implemented them in their facilities to help reduce costs, improve production and protect workers while maintaining, and even improving, quality. And to help even further, food processors are able to integrate robotics on the primary and secondary food processing areas.
When talking about robotics, most people automatically think of articulated robots–the impressive six-axes arms that can move in a variety of directions and perform a large number of tasks. But, food processors should take note of two other robotic styles that are also available, i.e., delta and SCARA robots.
While not as flexible in their movements as articulated robots, both of these machines offer a variety of benefits that are capped off by more affordable price tags.
Let’s take a closer look to learn more about delta and SCARA robots and the benefits they offer food processors.
Delta robots, also called spider robots, get their name due to their shape–they look like an upside-down delta letter (Δ) from the Greek alphabet. Delta robots comprise “arms” that attach to the main body of the robot at top, and then come together at the bottom. This bottom “joint” is where the end-of-arm tooling is found. Individual motors control each arm with a great deal of accuracy.
Delta robots are ideal for high-speed pick-and-place, assembly and inspection applications. Because their movements are concentrated to a spherical work zone and utilize spindly legs, they are also great for light-duty work in small areas.
SCARA stands for Selective Compliance Articulated Robot Arm. While they don’t have the freedom of movement that makes articulated robots so popular, SCARA machines are still able to operate on the x, y and z axes and move in a rotary motion. Unlike articulated arms, SCARA machines are contained in a compact package, which makes them ideal for processors with limited space.
Having less motion options also means that they’re easier to program.
SCARA machines are perfect for pick-and-place, assembly, inspection, packaging and dispensing, and can do their jobs quickly and with high accuracy. They are not good for duties that involve manipulating objects outside of parallel planes or reaching around objects.
From articulated to SCARA to delta robots and more, food processors have quite a few options for improving efficiency, automating processes and protecting workers. EnSight Solutions can help. We have a team of robotics experts who can help processors determine which style of robot is best for their organization. In addition, EnSight is a Staubli Robotics Strategic Partner. This helps assure processors that when they work with EnSight to integrate automation, they’re getting support from a trusted industry food equipment manufacturer, integration experts and the leading HE robot manufacturer.
Contact our sales consultants to learn more.