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Collaborative robots or cobots are shaping human and robot interactions in a better way. These collaborations have immensely benefitted industries and helped them increase their efficiency and productivity in applications that require precision, strength, or repetitive motions. The cobots are taking over monotonous and physically challenging works, and help free up human workers to focus on productive tasks. These robots can perform tasks accurately, safely, and quickly contributing to short lead times, increased output, and fast production cycles.

Although designed to work in challenging environments, collaborative robots may not work as effectively as required. This may be due to damages caused to their arms or sensors in extreme work environments. This is where collaborative robot suits can help. This post explores how these   suits are helping manufacturing facilities optimize their robotic investments.

Robot-Flex Robot Suit

Why Your Cobot Needs a Robot Suit

There are several reasons why your cobot may need a robot suit. The following pointers will help you understand it better.

  • A bare robot is often programmed and equipped with safety features and advanced sensors, which help avoid the chances of collision and allow build better working relationships with human beings. However, accidents may still occur when cobots and humans exist in the same bay. Robot full protective suits create an extra protective layer, preventing direct contact between the human operator and moving parts of the cobot. This further reduces the risk of injuries, such as bruises, pinches, and cuts.
  • A bare cobot is used for production in many industries, such as food and beverage processing, pharmaceutical processing, etc. They are exposed to contamination like dust, debris, chemicals, and so on. Robot full protective suits help prevent the cobot from coming in contact with water, oil, debris, and other contaminants.
  • A cobot makes a good investment for many businesses, including food serving organizations, where they are used for repetitive tasks such as serving customers; in car showrooms to welcome customers; in automotive manufacturing facilities near conveyor areas, and so on. Robot suits help prevent scratches, breakages, or spills that would otherwise damage their components in challenging environments.
  • Although cobots are becoming popular in workplaces, many industries have already imposed strict regulations to avoid accidents or other unwanted events due to their collision with humans. The use of protective coverings is one such requirement, which is mandated by several regulations.

If you plan to invest in quality cobot suits, you can consider Robot-Flex® suits from Nabell. These protective cover suits are designed to protect your cobot against the environmental extremes and help avoid safety issues that may occur when the cobot and humans work closer. The next section offers insights on NRF Series Robot-Flex® suits developed by Nabell.

An Overview of Robot-Flex® Suits Developed by Nabell

Robot-Flex® suits are custom-fitted covers designed by Nabell to protect the cobot from challenging operating conditions. They are designed to fit over the robot’s servo motors and castings without hampering the robot’s working.

Types of Robot-Flex® Suits Developed by Nabell

Nabell offers the following types of Robot-Flex® Suits developed by combining traditional processing and 3D printing techniques.

  • NRF-1: The NRF-1 suits offer excellent water and dust resistance, ensuring protection in various challenging work environments. They are designed for general-purpose use, with a thickness of 0.90 mm.
  • NRF-2: The NRF-2 suits offer excellent impact resistance. Designed to safeguard the arms, these 0.70mm suits provide protection against abrasions, blasts, and chips.
  • NRF-3: These NRF-3 suits possess a thickness of 0.59 mm and are generally recommended for use during chemical cleanings, misting, washdowns, and painting processes. They ensure excellent paint resistance.
  • NRF-4: The NRF-4 suits ensure excellent oil and coolant resistance. These suits are made 1mm thick and can help protect the arms during machining operations.
  • NRF-5: The NRF-5 suits are used to protect cobot arms during machining and welding processes. They protect the cobot from high heat and spatters.
  • NRF-6: Primarily designed for food processing units and clean room applications, the NRF-6 suits have a thickness of 0.54 mm. They can resist contaminants and help maintain hygienic conditions in food and drug manufacturing facilities.

What types of chemicals can Robot-Flex® Suits withstand?

The Robot-Flex® Suits are designed to withstand the following types of chemicals.

  • Top of Form
  • Bottom of Form
  • Nitric Acid (31%), Hydrochloric Acid (23%), Ammonia, Skydrol, Methyl Ethyl Carbonate
  • Hydrogen Peroxide Water (Oxydol), Hypochlorous Acid Water, (Conc. 200ppm), Sodium Hypochlorite (Conc. 0.02%), Hypochlorous Acid Water (Conc. 400ppm), Sodium Hypochlorite (Conc. 0.1%)
  • Half-life Period: 9.7 seconds (Warp: 670V, Weft: 740V)
  • Hydrogen Peroxide(Oxydol): Positive
  • Lacquer Thinner 100%:ISO6450 Passed
  • Hypochlorous Acid, (Conc. 200ppm), Sodium Hypochlorite (Conc. 0.02%): Slightly changed color on the material (White ⇒ Light yellow), No tearing
  • Hypochlorous Acid (Conc. 400Ppm), Sodium Hypochlorite (Conc. 0.1%): Spray Test: Positive
  • Hypochlorous Acid (Conc. 400Ppm), Sodium Hypochlorite (Conc. 0.1%): Immersion Test: Slightly changed color on the material (White ⇒ Light yellow), No tearing

How to Install Robot-Flex® Suits on Cobot?

Robot-Flex® Suits can be easily installed on Cobot. The pointers below will guide you on the right steps of installation.

  • Choose custom protective cover suits for your application.
  • Carefully remove any peripheral device before installing the cover to avoid the risks of damage.
  • Ensure the robot is at rest and switch it off before installing the cover.
  • Do not haste the installation and removal process of the cover. It must be performed carefully and slowly to avoid damaging robot parts or personal injuries.
  • Ensure the Robot-Flex is not upside down. After the installation, inspect the gaps in the joined areas. Adjust the cover at joint attachments as necessary before starting the robot.
  • Move the robot manually and operate it across all axis of rotation to ensure smooth movement.

How Robot-Flex® Suits Differ from Other Robot Suits in the Market?

The Robot-Flex® Suits differ from other robot suits in the market in many ways. The following pointers will help you understand it better.

  • The suits are made of specialized materials, such as polyester+ rayon, polyester fiber, polyester, aramid, carbon-aramid fiber, and polyester. These materials have different characteristics and assure durability and reduced maintenance costs, which make them ideal for different challenging environments.
  • These suits create excellent condensation barriers in challenging environments.
  • The suits are designed for manufacturers, such as ANUC, MITSUBISHI, TECHMAN, DENSO, YASKAWA and UNIVERSAL ROBOT brand collaborative robots.
  • The suits ensure improved hand mechanics sensor and gripper.
  • They protect against water, shocks, heat, dust, oil, chemicals, etc.
  • All Robot-Flex® Suits conform to REACH and RoHS.

If you wish to invest in Robot-Flex® Suits for your applications, you can contact the experts at Nabell USA Corporation. The experts at the company will work closely with you to understand your requirements and offer you the right solution. They can provide custom suits to meet your application requirements.

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