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Products and innovations

Energy-efficient: Yaskawa robots with regenerative braking

Energy-efficient: Yaskawa robots with regenerative braking
Innovation

Yaskawa offers a technical solution for the recovery of robot braking energy into the power grid – as a standard and without additional hardware. All larger MOTOMAN robot series with a payload upwards of approximately 50 kilogram and the latest YRC1000 robot controls are able to convert kinetic energy from down and sideways movements directly into 400 V AC at 50 Hz and feed it back into the net. Depending on its movement pattern, the robot’s energy requirements are therewith significantly reduced.

Prerequisite for this energy recovery is the standard YRC1000 robot controller in conjunction with the larger robots with payloads upwards of approximately 50 kilogram.

In their very diverse tasks – such as handling, palletizing, joining and processing – industrial robots make many down or sideways movements, during which the servomotors dissipate energy and potentially generate electricity. Up until now, in older or other robot models on the market, the resulting energy has been converted to waste heat by control technology through electrical resistance and lost to the environment.

In the Yaskawa solution, the electric energy is fed back into the operator network without additional hardware and reused. Savings in the eight to 25 per cent range can be anticipated. This may well result in annual feed-ins of about 2,800 kWh, with savings of about 1,600 kilogram CO2 and 1200 Euro.

With this hitherto unique technical solution, Yaskawa has applied its experience as manufacturer of drive technology – after all, all servo drives and control packages are in-house products, and accordingly optimal tailored to industrial robots. MOTOMAN robots open up further efficiency potential due to their slim and compact design with low moving masses and fast application of brakes during movement intervals, in order to switch off the active position control when not in use. 

YASKAWA Europe GmbH in the MEDIA CENTER

Seam polishing robot in drum roller production
Photographer: Yaskawa Europe GmbH
Imposing: the YASKAWA R2C five-axis servo positioner with two stations for parallel loading and welding.
Photographer: Yaskawa Europe GmbH
Yaskawa MOTOMAN robots of different sizes are at the heart of the RCD; here a MOTOMAN GP8 with a payload of 8 kg.
Photographer: Yaskawa Europe GmbH
Guided by a MOTOMAN GP12, the measuring head scans the component to be inspected in detail, using a total of three different lasers.
Photographer: Yaskawa Europe GmbH

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Company news

Japanese technology group YASKAWA to invest in Europe

Japanese technology group YASKAWA to invest in Europe

Japanese technology group YASKAWA is proposing to intensify its presence in Europe, with the aim of becoming one of the two leading manufacturers of industrial robots in strategic target markets in the medium term. This follows from a statement by Hiroshi Ogasawara (Representative Director & President YASKAWA Electric Corporation) and Manfred Stern (President & CEO YASKAWA Europe, Corporate Vice President YASKAWA Electric) at a press conference in Frankfurt/Main on Monday 21 November.

The company plans to expand its production capacities and open a new robot manufacturing plant and a new European robotics development centre in Slovenia in addition to its existing production facilities in Japan and China. Two hundred additional jobs will be created. The first YASKAWA Motoman robots from all-European production are expected to roll off the production line in 2018. The factory should satisfy about 80% of the European demand for robots. Total investments are estimated to be in the order of 25 million euros.

As one of the biggest global players in the industrial robot sector with more than 350,000 installed units sold and a leading international supplier of drive and automation technology, YASKAWA is pursuing an ambitious expansion strategy in Europe. In doing so the company, which was founded in 1915, is intentionally bucking the international trend towards relocating technological know-how and production competence from Europe to Asia.

Today YASKAWA employs about 350 development and application engineers in Europe. The new production and development capacities will permit even faster customized robotic solutions in Europe. This will also strengthen the cooperation with OEMs in these markets. In addition, YASKAWA will be keeping up even more closely with the European market and technological trends.

“Europe is a leader in many technologies, and we want to consistently demonstrate to our customers that we are happy to be here and engage in the joint development of even more efficient solutions,” Stern added.

YASKAWA is expanding its European activities through investments in the existing robot business as well as electric drive technology. The company most recently extended its business model through strategic acquisitions in the fields of industrial control technology and ‘Green Energy’. A focus is being placed on energy solutions in the field of wind power and the electrification of ship drives.

Company news

Ground-breaking ceremony for the YASKAWA extension complex in Allershausen

Ground-breaking ceremony for the YASKAWA extension complex in Allershausen

YASKAWA is expanding its site in Allershausen near Munich, the headquarters of the European Robotics Division: five years after the Japanese technology corporation moved into its new building in Yaskawastrasse, the groundbreaking ceremony has now been scheduled to take place for an extension complex with 5,000 square metres of floor space. With this construction project, the company is reinforcing and expanding its production capacities in Europe.

YASKAWA, with more than 350,000 units installed, is one of the world’s leading manufacturers in the fields of drive technology, industrial automation and robotics and is pursuing an ambitious expansion strategy in Europe: the aim is to become one of the leading manufacturers of industrial robots in strategically important European markets.

In this context, the Allershausen site plays a central role as the “shop window for Europe”. After having invested 14.6 million euros in the new site in 2012, YASKAWA is investing a further 7.8 million euros in the extension complex.

In addition to the project in Allershausen, the company is currently planning to build the first European YASKAWA robotics plant in Kocevje, Slovenia for approx. 25 million euros. The first robots will be produced from the autumn of 2018.

Currently the Robotics Division employs approx. 960 staff in Europe; about one third of these are located in Germany. In Allershausen 290 employees work in this division. The extension complex will provide 1,200 square metres of office space on three floors for staff merged from sites which had been spread out on different sites up to now. A workshop and manufacturing area will also cover over 2,000 square metres of space and a 1,600 square meter warehouse will also be created.

The extension complex has been conceived as as an energy efficient building according to the KfW 55 standard. It is equipped with energy-saving LED lights and especially energy-efficient air-conditioning for the office areas. The energy requirements are largely met using renewable sources such as biogas and, subject to final authorisation, the site’s own photovoltaic facility.

Once the new extension complex has been completed, YASKAWA will vacate the remaining commercial real estate in the Kammerfeld industrial zone.

 

Company profile

With annual sales of 479 billion yen (approximately 3.7 billion euros, fiscal year ended 28 February 2022), Yaskawa is a global technology supplier in the area of robotics, drive and control technology, as well as of solutions in the energy sector. Founded in Japan in 1915, Yaskawa has practiced the same philosophy for over 100 years, namely to deliver products of the highest quality, and in doing so has established itself at the top of the global market. Throughout this time, Yaskawa has evolved from a motor producer to an automation provider and finally, by way of the Industry 4.0 concept i3 mechatronics, to a solution provider.

Yaskawa’s business activities comprise the areas of drives (GA700 inverter drives), motion control (Sigma-7 servo drives, servo motors, machine controllers), robotics (MOTOMAN industrial robots, robot systems), system engineering (generators and converters) as well as information technology (software-based products). Since 2012, Yaskawa’s portfolio has also included control technology, visualization systems and chip solutions from the former VIPA GmbH in Herzogenaurach. The merger was legally finalized in October 2019, when the Profichip brand became a separate product division at Yaskawa known as “Profichip Embedded Solutions.” In October 2014, Yaskawa also acquired The Switch Engineering Ltd., operating in the sectors of wind, marine, and turbo/industrial applications.

Yaskawa is thus one of the few companies in the world able to offer components and solutions for virtually all sectors from a single source.

Thanks to substantial investments into research and development, the company has produced a large number of inventions, patents and innovations. This technological expertise has allowed the company divisions to achieve a leading market position in a wide range of industries, including: mechanical and plant engineering (packaging machines, pumps/compressors, textile machines, digital printing machines, manufacture of cranes and lifting equipment, systems for semiconductor and electronics manufacturing, machines for the harvesting/extraction and processing of wood, glass, metal, stone/soil) as well as the elevator industry, automotive construction and the field of assembly and handling applications. The industrial robots of the MOTOMAN brand are used, for example, for robot welding, laboratory automation, for packaging and handling applications as well as in the field of automated painting.

Based in Eschborn near Frankfurt in Germany, Yaskawa Europe GmbH comprises the Drives Motion Controls (automation, drive and control technology), Robotics (industrial robots, systems) and Environmental Energy (environmental engineering) business units, and services the markets of Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the states of the former Soviet Union.

 www.yaskawa.eu.com

 

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