New on the market are robots with both larger capacity and a longer reach. The MegaBot line of robots from Vulcan Engineering Co., a provider of engineering, manufacturing, and installation of equipment for the metalcasting, steel and forging industries, consists of both servo-driven electric models as well as hydraulically-driven models.
The all electric five axis 3350 series offers models with capacities up to 1670 kg and reaches out to 4.3 meters. The six axis 3360 series offers greater reaches with slightly less payload capacity, as its variants offer up to 4.7 meters of reach and 1284 kg payloads. For the ultra high payload and reach requirements, Vulcan has hydraulically-powered robot. The 2860R model has a payload of 3175 kg and reach is 6.5 meters.
The MegaBot, born of the metalcasting industry, is designed to withstand harsh environments. "Our business has concentrated in the foundry industry for over 30 years. We demand a lot from our equipment as it has to endure some of the worst conditions including high heat, molten metal, metallic dust and other abrasive elements which can destroy all but the most robust machines, especially at high duty cycles," explains David Sutherland, Vulcans sales manager for the MegaBot line. Features such as IP67 rated motors and sealed components, keep the MegaBot well-shielded from the abusive environments commonly found in many manufacturing plants.
Designed mainly as a material handling robot, the MegaBot will see applications in the automotive, construction material, bottling/packaging, and truck industries. "Thats one of the great things about robots," says Sutherland, "Their amazing flexibility leaves only our imagination to constrain what they can do."