FANUC America Introduces High-Payload Cobots and Sponsors Automate Education Pavilion

FANUC plans to show its collaborative robot arms, software and hardware for a wide range of applications, and educational initiatives in Detroit.

Business Wire

Students at Lorain County Community College learn to program a FANUC CRX cobot.
FANUC America said its latest collaborative robots, which feature enhanced payload capacity, are suitable for a wide range of industrial applications such as palletizing.

DETROIT—FANUC America Corp. is introducing two high-payload capacity collaborative robots and demonstrating a range of advanced automation at Automate 2023 this week. The company is also sponsoring Automate’s Education Pavilion, where students, parents, instructors, and job seekers can learn about automation career paths and the schools that provide workforce training.

Rochester Hills, Mich.-based FANUC America stated that it is a leader in CNC systems, industrial robotics, and ROBOMACHINEs. The subsidiary of Japan-based FANUC Corp. said its innovative technologies and expertise can help manufacturers in the Americas maximize productivity, reliability and profitability.

FANUC will exhibit at Automate Booth 3232 in the Huntington Place Convention Center from May 22 to 25.

Cobot zone features higher payloads

FANUC has expanded the payload capacities of its CRX and CR collaborative robots to handle products from 4 to 50 kg (8.8 to 110.2 lb.). The company said it now has 11 cobot model variations that can work in a variety of industrial applications including assembly, inspection, material handling, packaging, palletizing, sanding, and welding.

“Our collaborative robots are easy to use and flexible solutions for companies looking to enhance productivity and solve labor issues,” said Eric Potter, general manager of the General Industry and Automotive Segment at FANUC America.

“We’ve seen substantial growth in the cobot space, particularly from companies who are new to robotic automation,” he said. “We’re excited to introduce the CRX-25iA cobot with a 30 kg [66.1 lb.] payload capacity, and the CR-35iB cobot with a 50 kg payload capacity. Now, customers can easily handle heavier products with these models.”

FANUC CRX-25iA has new capacity

At Automate, FANUC America said it will demonstrate the CRX-25iA cobot's enhanced payload capacity by easily handling a 30 kg kettlebell with full wrist articulation.

A second CRX-25iA equipped with the FANUC Servo Torch will showcase its capacity and long 1,889 mm (74.3 in.) reach. It will do so in a hands-on welding demonstration to highlight easy lead-through-teaching of welding joints on a lawn mower deck, said the company.

FANUC claimed that its entire series of CRX robots is reliable, flexible, and can run for eight years without maintenance. Interactive programming allows operators to teach points using hand guidance or a Tablet TP with drag-and-drop icons.

FANUC CR-35iB cobot designed for strength

FANUC said its CR-35iB is the industry’s strongest collaborative robot with a new 50 kg payload capacity. It also has a large work envelope and a small installation footprint to work well in tight spaces. A streamlined and lighter mechanical unit includes FANUC’s latest sensor technology for safety.

At Automate, the CR-35iB using 3DV iRVision will locate and pick castings on a pallet and place them on a shelf to represent an automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS). The cobot will then recirculate parts back to the pallet.

The demo features the CR-35iB’s lifting power and ability to adjust when the pallet location shifts, such as on an autonomous mobile robot (AMR) from partner Locus Robotics. In addition, operators can use the cobot in production to exchange pallets quickly and safely, said FANUC.

“We’re highlighting a flexible infeed system which is key for customers looking to increase production rates,” said Christian Stevenson, material handling engineer in FANUC America's General Industries and Automotive Segment. “FANUC’s integrated 3DV iRVision provides that level of flexibility by precisely locating randomly placed parts.”

FANUC shows robots, software, and factory automation

In addition, FANUC said its Automate exhibit will feature a wide range of automated applications and systems, including:

  • Order fulfillment, bin transfer, and shelving
  • Deburring, kitting, and interactive programming
  • Realtime visual tracking
  • Heavy payload battery assembly
  • Cleanroom applications
  • High-speed pick and place
  • Robotic painting with visual tracking
  • Vision guidance, simulation, and zero downtime (ZDT)
  • Factory automation: MT-LINKi, industrial PCs, digital Servo Adapter-Model B, and Power Motion i-Model A

Education Pavilion: Join the 'Automation Generation'

As sponsor of Automate's Education Pavilion, FANUC will join more than a dozen schools in providing hands-on demonstrations featuring its latest robots, cobots, and CNC educational tools. Other participants include Manufacturing Skill Standards Council (MSSC), NOCTI Business Solutions, The ARM Institute, and Focus Hope.

“The skills gap is a growing reality for companies in every industry,” said Paul Aiello, executive director for education at FANUC America. “In fact, if you ask any manufacturing CEO, they will say that their top priority is workforce and talent development. By partnering with these organizations, we hope to introduce and inspire students of all ages and backgrounds—the Automation Generation—to understand and seek exciting, rewarding, and high-demand automation career opportunities.”

Since 2010, FANUC has been committed to working with high schools, technical training centers, community colleges and universities. Students can learn industrial robotics, CNC, and Industry 4.0 technologies. They can also earn industry certifications to be highly sought after for a variety of roles.

“FANUC America is leading the way by creating robotic and CNC pathways that align industry talent needs with educational programs at more than 1,500 schools across the nation,” Aiello added.

The company recently launched a new video series focused on how the skills gap in advanced automation is affecting industry, and what is being done to solve it. The first episode focuses on Lorain County Community College in Elyria, Ohio, one of FANUC America’s partner schools.

In the video below, hear from students who are currently enrolled in the program and the people who are educating them to work in advanced automation.

Editor's note: For more about Automate 2023, visit Robotics 24/7's special coverage page.

FANUC America partners with over 1,500 high schools, tech training centers, community colleges and universities to offer hands-on training of FANUC automation products that align with industry needs.

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Business Wire

Students at Lorain County Community College learn to program a FANUC CRX cobot.

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