Numerous applications in state-of-the-art production environments call for the use of robots in order to achieve short cycle times for handling tasks involving long transport distances and high speeds –with low system costs, of course. cable-driven parallel robots are an innovative concept for automation solutions in intralogistics - even where requirements are extremely high. Fraunhofer IPA has been working on perfecting this technology for some years now. The load-bearing capacity and workspace are far superior to those of standard robot systems. Cable robots are also more energy-efficient and their modular construction allows them to be flexibly installed.
Technologies and innovations
The latest development at Fraunhofer IPA is the demonstrator “IPAnema 3”. Compared to conventional industrial robots, the cable-driven parallel robot IPAnema features:
Furthermore, these features can be individually adapted to suit requirements. The robot is controlled by a realtime-capable NC control system that is easy to program using the tried and tested G-Code (DIN 66025). A programmable logic controller (PLC) can be optionally connected for easy integration into existing systems.
Advantages of cable-driven parallel robots
Cable robots are not only extremely robust but also portable and can be implemented flexibly. This enables them to be used in a wide range of working environments. Depending on the application, a work space of up to 100m x 100m x 30m is achievable. The efficient transmission of power through the cables and the use of crane winches allow each cable to bear a load of up to several tons. In applications where safety is a critical factor, such as when lifting extremely heavy or fragile loads, additional cables can be easily added to offer more protection against the failure of individual components. Alternatively, the work space can be extended. This enables manufacturing processes involving very large components to be automated, such as rotor blades for wind turbines, or aircraft fuselages.