Fanuc paint spray robots are getting to paint the parts of vehicle bodies that other robots cannot reach with a swing arm device that places the robot on the paint spray track behind the vehicle. From this position it is possible to paint interior parts of the vehicle that would be inaccessible from the robot’s usual position to the side of the track. Apart from automotive work, other paint applications include large structures in aerospace and civil engineering. The P155 robot could be used to spray sealant inside large tanks.


Motoman’s RobotProp maintenance software simplifies care of its ERC and MRC-controlled robots. The PC-based support tool provides step-by-step instructions, drawings, schematics and other information necessary to keep the robot working productively.


Kaybe extendable gravity conveyors provide a flexible solution for applications where space is at a premium, the company says. Most shapes of conveyor track are said to be possible, ranging from an S-bend to a semi-circular path and a radius down to 350mm. Standard models are available in a choice of widths and lengths fitted with high-impact skate wheels or rollers.

Conveyors fold down to about one third of their fully extended size.


Two leading vision systems companies, FSI and Agema Infrared, have set up a consultancy to help manufacturing industry raise productivity levels through better use of automation. The new group, called FSI Automation, provides systems and software designed for continuous non-contact monitoring of supervised as well as unmanned manufacturing lines. The group is headed by Richard Ardenis, formerly sales engineer with Agema, who has extensive experience in infrared and vision systems. Based in France, Ardenis is responsible for a network of automation specialists.


Welding robot maker Panasonic Industrial has set up a design and build service to cater for the high-speed welding needs of subcontractors serving the bus, truck and construction industries. The service covers the supply CE-marked modular welding cells fully equipped and configured to meet the application. Training is available.


The Ecomat automated guided vehicle from Indumat doubles as a manual truck for loads up to two tonnes.

There are four versions hand pallet truck, pallet stacker, general load carrier and tow tractor. Movement is controlled by active or passive inductive guidance systems or by optical sensor which follows a tape or paint line on the floor.


Robot gripper maker Thurnall provides a design and build service for special-purpose automated grippers. Typical applications are foundry automation, sand core handling, pressure diecasting and part clamping. The company says it has 15 years experience in building grippers and a database of 600 proven designs.


Pneumatic rotary actuator company Festo has developed a new range to help OEM customers meet tighter specifications in modular automation equipment destined for a range of industries from precision electronics to heavy automotive. The DSM range targets dextrous electronic and medical applications, and claims to provide an unparalleled torque to size ratio. With a diameter of 46mm the DSM-10, for example, delivers 0.85Nm torque. The DRQD rotary actuator is a twin piston rack and pinion drive capable of delivering torque from 1.6 to 12Nm. They are said to be almost free from backlash.


For process valve control operations, the Auma Matic MC actuator has an inbuilt microcontroller to provide feedback to the central computer on operational data such as running time and the number of starts as well as fault monitoring such as tripped torque switches. Where there are simultaneous faults, the actuator creates a prioritised sequence for eliminating each one in turn, with simple prompts for the user. The device also reminds users to carry out preventive maintenance.