COMAU Unveils New Six-Axis Robot Arm for Sensitive Environments  

Comau is aiming for markets outside of traditional manufacturing with its new robot arm.


Comau's new six-axis arm.
Comau is the latest robot maker to design a robot arm to be used in cleanrooms and other areas outside of typical manufacturing facilities.

Comau has unveiled its new six-axis articulated robot, the Racer-5SE. The Grugliasco, Italy-based company said the robot was designed for the pharmaceutical, health, beauty, food, and beverage electronic industries.

The robot features a protective water, heat, and grease-resistant coating, and has IP67 certification, as well as high-grade ISO 5 Cleanroom classification (ISO 14644-1). It also has protection from chemical agents, according to Comau.

Further benefits of the dedicated robot include reduced operator risk when working with potentially harmful chemicals and substances, as well as increased productivity, traceability, and quality, the company claimed.

Racer-5 SE addresses the specific need for speed, accuracy and repeatability within cleanrooms and other sensitive environments. The result of an intensive design process based on the study of forms and attention to detail, it has compact dimensions, 5 kg (11 lb.) payload, an 809 mm (31 in.) maximum reach, and a high-gloss, ruggedized element-resistant shell.

“Our new Racer-5 SE combines efficiency and technical excellence with the features and functionality required for effective application within sensitive settings,” said Nicole Clement, chief marketing officer at Comau.

“We expect the adoption of robotics in sensitive environments to grow significantly in the next coming years, largely driven by increasing automation in fast-growing industries such as food and beverages, pharma, plastic and chemicals, and electronics,” she added.

A versatile robot arm

The robot arm can be used on a tabletop, inclined, or mounted on a wall or ceiling. Companies can use it to automate applications with stringent requirements such as the handling of pharmaceuticals in sterile filling rooms or the certified cleanroom assembly of microelectronics, while reducing overall operating costs, the company said.

Furthermore, Racer-5 SE is well-suited for the food industry, given that its white painted surface is approved for direct contact with all types of food (Reg Eu 1935/2004, Reg Eu 10 /2011 and Reg Eu 1895 /2005) and the IP67 rating protects it from peroxide, chlorine, alcohol and other aggressive cleaning agents, the company said.

Fitted with stainless steel screws and covers, Racer-5 SE can be easily cleaned and decontaminated as often as needed. This can help increase product quality and reduce the potential for human-related error or contamination, said Comau.

It is also one of the fastest robots of its kind. And because the electrical and air connectors and fittings are located outside the production zone, the robot enjoys greater agility while minimizing the risk of damage.

All this enables Racer-5 SE to ensure higher production quality, better performance, quicker cycle times, and reduced capital expenditures, said Comau. The company makes the robot entirely in Turin, Italy, and said it has a rigid construction to ensure higher precision and repeatability.  

It has been tested and certified for cleanroom compliance by Fraunhofer and is available in two different 5 kg (11 lb.) payload configurations, with a reach of 630 mm (24 in.) and 809 mm (31.85 in.).

A look at the new Comau six-axis arm.

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Comau's new six-axis arm.

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