After an exciting weekend of soaking in the Japanese culture and road tripping to Hiroshima, it was back to training today.

The morning began discussing a topic easily overlooked in the big scheme of things – how do you physically install the robot?   The fact is that the robot can be cumbersome to maneuver, if not done properly.

Fuji defined some good rules of thumb for how to safely handle the machine.  From there, the rest of the initial installation is pretty straight forward.  The robot is mounted to a base which is anchored to the floor.  On the electrical side, Fuji makes it installer-friendly by providing labeled cable connectors for wiring the robot to the main control panel.  And in a few more steps, the robot is ready to be programmed.

The balance of the day was spent on how to design the Cell Layout – in other words, where the robot, in-feed conveyor, pallets, etc. are positioned in reference to each other.  The design process begins with a basic evaluation of the product specs and intended stacking pattern for the goods.

This exercise then evolves into a spatial analysis that observes the path of the robot’s arm, down to the rotational aspects of the end-effecter.  The layout must ensure that no possible interference conditions (opportunities to crash) exist.  Technical layout drawings are created and can be used for efficiency evaluations, equipment ordering, and ultimately equipment installation.  The importance of a good cell layout cannot be overstated in that it directly affects robot cycle time and therefore throughput.  In addition, a good layout can provide the customer with improved process flexibility down the road.

Tomorrow is the final day of formal training and will be dedicated to more time with the robots.  In addition to logging more hours on the programming side, we will be learning how to transfer information to and from the Robot through our laptops.

Until then… Mike