The new generation of collaborative lightweight robots from FANUC has arrived. After presenting the first prototypes of the CRX-10iA at IREX in Tokyo in December 2019, the company is now bringing the first production units to Europe. From August 2020, the slim white robot with a payload of 10 kilograms will be installed in FANUC showrooms throughout Europe. Delivery to the first customers will begin soon after. The key features of the CRX-10iA are its safety, ease of use and extremely high reliability.

The FANUC developers have paid particular attention to the safety of the lightweight robot. The CRX-10iA stops moving with only very light contact with humans. If it hits a hard object, the robot automatically backs away from it. Operators can also manually push three axes of the robot away. The smooth and elegant design also provides protection from pinching, making it an ideal partner for production workers. The CRX-10iA is certified according to ISO 10218-1 safety standard.

Speed depending on mode

In order to make the robot as flexible as possible, it can work in cooperative mode with a maximum speed of 1000 millimetres per second as well as in stand-alone mode with speeds of up to 2000 millimetres per second. A mode change is useful at night or on weekends, for example, when the robot can carry out tasks alone without human workers around. A traffic light system on the robot indicates the active mode. Additional safety sensors can be used to slow down the speed to the permitted speed if a person comes within range.

The CRX-10iA’s ease of use starts with installation. The robot, which weighs only 40 kilograms, and the 20 kilogram controller can be conveniently carried by hand to their place of use and set up. The new, intuitive touch panel has a clearly laid out user interface with graphic symbols, and programming is possible using the “drag and drop” function. This allows even robot beginners to create work programs in simple steps. To teach the robot the desired motion sequence, the operator can also manually guide the robot to the appropriate points.

Professionals can change the interface at the touch of a button and have a traditional teach pendant displayed or, alternatively, connect an iPendant to the CRX-10iA. With teach pendant mode and iPendant, even complex programming is possible.

Regular software updates

Another new feature is that customers will in future be able to update the software of the FANUC robot themselves and extend it with various application updates. For the adaptation of grippers, sensors or cameras, FANUC provides software development kits to enable quick and easy connection with third party accessories.

The CRX-10iA also meets the highest quality standards in terms of reliability. For example, it meets the demanding IP67 industrial standard, which allows it to load and unload machines in which there is moisture. Even very fine dust particles, such as those produced by polishing applications, are no problem. The controller and tablet are designed to meet the IP54 industrial standard and are therefore also ideally suited for use in industrial production.

Service life: Eight years without maintenance

The long life of the CRX-10iA is particularly impressive. On average, FANUC promises customers eight years without maintenance. Until that time, engines, reducers, sensors, cables and greases do not need to be replaced when used properly. For customers, this means both very low total cost of ownership (TCO) and minimal downtime in production. If the robot still needs to be serviced, for example due to faulty programming, parts can be replaced quickly and easily due to an easy-to-remove cover.

FANUC will provide the same excellent and comprehensive customer support for the CRX as for all its traditional yellow robots. Two of the company’s most important principles are “lifetime maintenance” and “service first”. This means that FANUC stores sufficient spare parts even of discontinued products and keeps providing service for all its products as long as customers continue to use them. The automation specialist maintains an extensive service and support network worldwide, maintaining 264 locations servicing 108 countries.

The CRX-10iA comes in two versions: a standard model with a range of 1249 millimetres and a long arm model with a range of 1418 millimetres. The long arm robot is designed so that it can swing its arm directly over its base. This enables it to pick up parts from a table in front of it, for example, and place them behind it on the table in a straight-line movement. In addition to palletizing tasks, the CRX-10iA is ideally suited for automating a wide range of tasks like screwdriving, welding, picking parts out of shelves or from conveyors and packing them into boxes or loading raw parts into a CNC machine and unloading them when finished.

Anyone who wants to experience the advantages of the lightweight robot from FANUC for themselves will soon be able to do so: in just a few weeks the CRX-10iA will be welcoming visitors to the local FANUC showrooms all around Europe.