Traverse Robot

What is a Traverse Robot?

Traverse Robots are industrial robot arms that are commonly used to take out or move industrial products or change the tools for different types of machine tools. Traver Robot is also known as Take-out arm or Traverse Type Robot Arm. It is especially preferred to be operated with horizontal injection molding machines, which is ideal for taking out the molded plastic products or the sprue.

With a servo motor driving the traverse robot, the successive operation can be greatly precise at a high speed. Eliminating the need for line operators, the devices not only cut the costs of personnel but ensure better product quality and productivity. Traverse robot arms are made of materials such as steel, aluminum, and cast iron typically. Some robots which are used for particular applications are made of titanium, such as the ones used in clean rooms.

Basic Structure of Traverse Robot 

A typical traverse robot arm consists of the gripper, the base, different components that form the arms, the linkage, the cylinder, and a servo motor. The arm part is mounted on the base which is at the bottom. In the structure of the arm part, in the anthropomorphic sense, the arms can be divided into the shoulder part, the elbow part, the wrist part, and so on. Between different parts, the linkage is usually used for creating a 4-bar parallelogram setting. When the operator intends to use a motor to drive the “forearm” part (near the shoulder) while the motor is located far below, the forearm has to carry the weight of the motor. In this case, the linkage and 4-bar parallelogram can solve the problem. They allow the upper arm link to move without carrying the motor’s weight.

The servo robotic gripper of the arm can be highly customized for particular machining or other use. The operator can also use a sensor or tool changing system for the end of arm tooling. The design of this part is crucial to the functioning of the traverse robot, which is usually used for picking, gripping, collecting, assembling, releasing the gears or products.

As for the cylinders and servo motors, they supply the driving force for the arm to move. Take a 3-axis traverse robot, for example, the traverse stroke can be driven by the motor, which is the main course that requires high accuracy. The vertical stroke and the kick stroke can be designed to be driven by cylinders. The pneumatic cylinders can be mounted on the side of different parts of the robot arms. The cylinder's seals and solenoid valves can ensure smooth, stable motions.

A large blob of metal can be installed between the shoulder part and the wrist part for multiple functions. First of all, you can carve the top center of the blob and install the linkage on it. As a result, the forearm part can increase the range of motion. Secondly, the metal blob can be used as a counterweight, which means the load on the large motor can be reduced. Another accessory of the traverse robot is the transmission belts or timing belts. They can help the robot arm move quietly and stably.

Application in Molding Industry (IMM)

A middle-size traverse robot is commonly applied to injection molding machines (350T~1800T) for taking out and placing the molded parts. Injection molding is the process of manufacturing products by injecting molten plastic, glasses, metals into the mold. At the final phase, the traverse robots can rapidly and successively take out the finished parts and sprues from the molds, and also repack the products. The operation will be automatic with high accuracy. The arms can be altered in a horizontal or vertical orientation to meet the manufacturers’ needs.

Why Use Traverse Robots?

Driven by a servo motor or pneumatic cylinders, traverse robots’ automating take-out or tool-changing systems in machining, such as plastic injection molding, can shorten the cycle time, increase productivity, reduce the defective rate, ensure workplace safety, reduce the personnel costs. Moreover, the robot arms can control the output for the machines accurately, reducing waste.

There are single-axis, 3-axis, 5-axis traverse robots nowadays. Different types of traverse servo robots or robot arms with different kinds of grippers can be versatile and suitable auxiliary devices for a wide range of machines. Most of them can achieve the goal of providing the function of multiple placing. Thanks to the rigid design, they can provide high-precision work at a high speed without vibration and deviation. To meet the need for some factories that have lower ceilings, the operators can freely adjust different parts of the arms of the traverse robots.

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