Mitsubishi Electric India is ready to address the advanced automation needs on shopfloors with the MELFA assista.

Story by: Ashish Bhatia

The need for collaborative automation is being felt more than ever before with a shortage of manpower and the need to maintain social distancing at the shopfloor level. To optimise the value chain, stakeholders of the automotive industry are actively looking to embrace automation backed by ‘Big data’ as the new normal way of working. Having gauged the market opportunity, Mitsubishi Electric India (Mitsubishi) launched the MELFA assista series of collaborative robots (cobots) in August 2020 following the global launch in Tokyo, in May 2020. At the launch, Hisahiro Nishimoto, Business Unit Head-Factory Automation & Industrial Division, Mitsubishi Electric India Pvt. Ltd., had mentioned that the Pune-based, Factory Automation and Industrial Division is ready to address the advanced automation needs on shopfloors. Mitsubishi is offering higher productivity, faster automation coupled with operational flexibility and safety beside a lower Total Cost of Ownership (TCO). It complements the existing industrial robots range under the series. Besides, with the new series, Mitsubishi is claimed to have reduced energy consumption by optimising the manufacturing process.

The DNA
The RV-5AS-D in its standard configuration is offered with the robot, connect cable, controller and a safety extension unit. The IP54 robot has a Degree of Freedom (DOF) of six and can be floor or ceiling mounted. The vertical, multi-joint structure with its varying operating range and speed of motion has a maximum reach of 910 mm. Rated for a maximum 5.5 kg payload, the cobot can operate in ambient temperatures of up to 40 degrees centigrade. Weighing 32 kg, the ISO 10218-1 and ISO/TS15066 compliant robot is claimed to be interface with humans seamlessly. Standing out with ‘Easy programming’, ‘Easy control’ and ‘Easy connection’, the cobot can be connected with select addon components as per the shopfloor requirement. The series is specially designed to offer priority safety features like collision detection, identified as a key requirement on shopfloors.

Within the scope of easy programming, programs can be created through the RT-Visual-Box through intuitive features. The software allows operators to program the robot using the train by demonstration interface. It allows the operator to set the robot arm position and set the way-points. For instance, using the vision camera focus adjustment, the operator can identify the target and fix the position with high speed. Within the scope of easy control, the robot, for instance, can be controlled by dedicated operating buttons on the robot arm. Using LED on the arm, the operator can find out the operational status. The easy connecting scope extends to addon peripheries like grippers and fingers developed by partner organisations better known as MELFA Robot partners in a region-specific arrangement. The partners include companies like Igus, Schunk, Zimmer Group, Gimatic, Ricoh and Captain Industries among others. The robots can be configured as an Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) or Autonomous Mobile Robot (AMR) as per the requirement. ACI

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