Warner Electric XS and WR brakes reduce the footprint of a six-axis robot

Reducing the size improves spatial operability, allowing more robots and other equipment to be added to the line

Six-axis robots have become the standard for automated assembly operations thanks to their ability to perform complex maneuvers. With the growing acceptance of this equipment, robot manufacturers are striving to reduce the size and mass of their six-axis robots to improve spatial operability and productivity.

When an electric stepper motor manufacturer received an inquiry from a robot manufacturer to downsize their six-axis robot kits, they turned to Warner Electric for the extremely compact XS and WR series brakes. .

Capable of approaching a workpiece from any angle, six-axis robots are very common on manufacturing lines. However, there is always a shortage of available space, so the trend of reducing the size and mass of robots continues.

Reducing the size improves spatial operability, allowing more robots and other equipment to be added to the line. The reduction in mass allows the six-axis robot to increase speed and acceleration without loss of load capacity, resulting in higher productivity.

The goal is a production line with a high density of robots, working in a small space and producing high performance. Therefore, robot manufacturers must take advantage of all the benefits that reducing the size and mass of equipment can offer.

Selecting the optimal brake for a robot

This is illustrated by a robot manufacturer, which asked its German supplier of stepper motors to evaluate the downsizing possibilities for a new series of six-axis robots optimized for the assembly of small parts. The German manufacturer quickly identified the possibility of optimizing the brake mounted on each stepper motor.

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This brake offers the ability to hold in certain positions, ensuring the precision of the assembly process. In particular, the motor that controls the sixth axis of movement that holds and rotates the tooling mounted at the end of the robot arm needed a special solution for its brake.

The manufacturer turned to Warner Electric, a leading brand in the Altra Industrial Motion Corporation group with exceptional technical expertise in advanced brake technologies. As a result of collaboration with the customer’s technical team, Warner Electric recommended the XS Electric Release Spring Acting Brake for the 6th Axis Stepper Motor.

Warner Electric XS Series brakes are designed for applications where reduction in weight and footprint is critical. Each model offers brake performance with optimized torque. Consequently, XS brakes are often selected for applications in aeronautics and robotics. They constitute a range of highly versatile brakes, with six different sizes, which Warner Electric can adapt according to the particular requirements of each application.

The XSB33S brake supplied to the German stepper motor manufacturer offers a torque capacity of 35Ncm with a weight of just 90g. Its construction offers significant advantages with respect to size and mass, compared to the brake used previously. In addition, the supply of the brake also includes a special mounting flange for the customer’s application.

Tangible improvements

For the higher torque capacities needed on the other five axes of the robot, Warner Electric supplied the compact WR220 and WR225 spring-actuated, electrically-opening brakes. These brakes are specially designed as holding brakes, ensuring reliable positioning of the robot arm during operation.

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With these new brakes, the German electric motor manufacturer was able to offer the robot manufacturer a highly optimized design that reduces the volume occupied without loss of productivity. This offers the user greater spatial operability, improving space availability and production capacity.

Warner Electric offers its customers a global design, development, manufacturing and supply service, with brake systems both standard and specially adapted to the demands of the application. Our specialists work closely with our customers’ technical teams around the world to deliver products that deliver tangible operational improvements. This ensures solutions specially adapted to the particular demands of advanced sectors such as robotics.

Myrtle Frost

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