Smart control technology makes new Dürr robots even more powerful and well-prepared for Industry 4.0
Bietigheim-Bissingen, April 2017 – Dürr has unveiled a new generation of painting robots that feature an additional seventh motion axis. This makes the robot even more flexible and gives it a significantly larger work space. But without high-performance control technology, even the most modern robot cannot operate reliably in industrial processes. For that reason, Dürr has developed a compact control cabinet that accommodates an intelligent control system, safety functions, drive controllers and a voltage supply. Its name: EcoRCMP2 (Robot Control Modular Panel). The smart control system combines a number of sensors and actuators, can communicate with higher-level maintenance and control systems, and is cloud-enabled. In accordance with the digital@DÜRR strategy, EcoRCMP2 fulfills all requirements regarding connected Industry 4.0 production.
The seventh axis of the new robot enables a rotational movement between robotic joints 2 and 3. As a result, the EcoRP E043i is better able to reach many sections of the vehicle body, particularly when it comes to interior painting. Because it is highly flexible and versatile, there is no longer any need for a rail in the painting booth in many cases.
The third generation of Dürr robots is powered by new, energy-efficient motors, which offer the additional benefit of power reserves for faster applications and higher application weights. The drive controllers are designed as compact modules which can be joined together in a scalable manner. One module drives up to three robot axes. Due to this space-saving design, the control cabinet is now less than 800 mm wide instead of its previous 1,200 mm.
The new sensors in the individual motors in the EcoRP E043i precisely and reliably record the current position of the robot axes and immediately report any malfunctions. The sensors are connected to an encoder box in the robot base. This smart component collects the information from all axes and transmits it to the control cabinet. Compared to the previous model, the EcoRCMP2 requires less cables between the robot and the control cabinet, thus simplifying the wiring and increasing the reliability of the signal transmission.
Dürr has also developed a completely new cooling concept for the new control cabinet. Heat-generating components dissipate their heat through a cool plate. Cool air is drawn into the base of the control cabinet and directed through a separate air duct along the back of the control cabinet before passing over the cooling fins of the cool plate. The warm air then leaves the cabinet at the top. This has a positive effect: no additional air-conditioning systems are required up to an ambient temperature of 40°C (104°F).
This benefits the customer in two ways, as Dr. Hans Schumacher, President and CEO of Dürr Systems AG, points out. "Not only is there one less component that requires maintenance, the control cabinets also have a lower energy consumption."
Position and speed are monitored
The safety functions of the EcoRCMP2 are adapted to the new robot. Due to its seventh axis, the EcoRP E043i is more flexible and versatile. In order to avoid any structural measures such as protective walls, specific zones have been allocated in which the robot is solely allowed to maneuver. Its position and speed as well as the entire work space are thoroughly and safely monitored by the EcoRCMP2. In an emergency, the robot is stopped immediately by the control system.
Programming of the seventh motion axis is intuitive and closely related to the present method. This means hardly any change for Dürr's robot teachers and the respective customer employees. Since January, the beta test of this high-performance control technology has been taking place at a German carmaker.