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XZ Gantry Robots are In Design for Australian Client

XZ Gantry Robots from Tallman Robotics Limited are in design and development for client from Australia.

Gantry robot is the main force of sheet metal processing automation. Such machines often deal with the most demanding robotic applications. The gantry robot is identified by its large arched structure above the workstation. The gantry robot will have two large X-axis actuators that can move over the entire working range. XZ Gantry Robots have at least one Y-axis actuator to move left and right across the working range. In addition, they will have at least one z-axis actuator that can move up and down into and out of the working range.

Gantry robot has the ability of high position accuracy and accurate placement of parts. It has the same X, y and Z coordinate axes as the coordinate robot, and is different from the coordinate robot. The gantry robot introduced in this paper is an improved form of coordinate robot.

The gantry robot is composed of a manipulator installed on the overhead system, which can move on the horizontal plane. Gantry robot is also called coordinate robot or linear robot. They are usually large systems that perform the pick and place process, but they can also be used for welding and elsewhere.

Gantry robot system has the advantages of large working area and higher positioning accuracy. It has the ability of high position accuracy and accurate placement of parts. Gantry robots are easier to program relative to motion because they work in X, y, Z coordinate systems. Another advantage is that they are less limited by floor space.

From coordinates to gantry

Gantry robot is an improved form of coordinate robot. XZ Gantry Robots use two X axes (or base axes) instead of a single base axis in the coordinate system. The additional X-axis (and sometimes additional Y-axis and Z-axis) allows the robot to handle greater loads and forces, making them ideal for picking up and placing heavy payloads or part handling.

Each axis of the gantry robot is based on a linear actuator, whether it is a “home-made” actuator assembled by the original equipment manufacturer or integrator, or an actuator pre assembled by linear motion. This means that there are almost unlimited options to allow any combination of high speed, long stroke, heavy load and high positioning accuracy. The special requirements for harsh environment or low noise are easy to be included. If the application requires independent process at the same time, the horizontal axis can be constructed by linear motors with multiple frames.

XZ Gantry Robots are usually installed above the work area (so commonly known as “overhead gantry”), but if parts are not suitable for handling from above, such as solar cells and modules, the gantry can be configured to work from below the parts. Although gantry robots are generally considered to be very large systems, they are also suitable for smaller, even desktop sized machines.

Two axes are better than one

Because the gantry robot has two X axes, namely the base axis, Y axis and Z axis, the torque load and working load are analyzed as the force on the X axis. This greatly increases the stiffness of the system and in most cases allows the axis to have a longer stroke length and higher speed than similar coordinate robots.

When the two shafts are parallel, usually only one of them is driven by the motor to prevent instability caused by slight asynchronous movement between the two shafts. Instead of driving two shafts, a connecting shaft or torque tube is used to transmit motor power to the second shaft. In some cases, the second shaft can be an “idler” or follower, consisting of a linear guide that supports the load without a drive mechanism. The decision whether and how to drive the second axis depends on the distance between the two axes, the acceleration and the stiffness of the connection between them. Driving only one shaft in a pair of shafts also reduces the cost and complexity of the system.

Determining coordinates or the size of gantry robots is more complex than determining the size of SCARA or articulated robots (usually with three parameters: range, speed and accuracy), but manufacturers have made this process easier by introducing preconfigured systems and online tools in the past few years. These tools allow the user to specify the direction and size of the shaft, as well as basic travel, load, and speed parameters. Downloadable CAD files are also standard products provided by coordinate and gantry robot manufacturers, making it easy to integrate into design or work layout, just like SCARA and articulated robots.

Although articulated robots and SCARA robots are easy to identify and coordinate robots are widely deployed, the gantry design overcomes its inherent limitations in load, speed, accessibility and repeatability, and has unparalleled customization and flexibility.