Low-Cost Automation in XXL: Large DIY palletizing gantry robot from igus® at a small price

The drylin® XXL 3-axis linear gantry robot is up to 60 percent more cost-effective than comparable solutions and easier to implement

March 16, 2022 – The global leader in motion plastics, igus, is expanding its broad range of Low-Cost Automation solutions with a new drylin 3-axis linear gantry. The new XXL Large DIY 3-axis linear gantry robot from igus has an action radius of 2,000 x 2,000 x 1,500 millimeters and is particularly suitable for palletizing applications of up to 10 kilograms. Pricing for the new robot starts as low as $7,000 USD, including the control system. The system is easy to set up and program using the do-it-yourself principle – without the help of a system integrator.

Lowering the barrier to cost effective automation

The DIY kit enables companies to quickly and easily, install a pick-and-place 3-axis linear gantry for tasks related to palletizing, sorting, labelling, and quality inspection.

“Palletizing robots created in collaboration with external service providers cost between 95,000 and 135,000 dollars. This is beyond the budget of many small companies”, said Alexander Mühlens, Head of the Low-Cost Automation Business Unit at igus. “We have therefore developed a solution that is many times more cost-effective due to the use of high-performance plastics and lightweight materials, such as aluminum. For example, the drylin XXL Large DIY palletizing gantry robot costs between $7,000 and $10,000 dollars, depending on the expansion stage. It is a low-risk investment that usually pays off within a few weeks.”

DIY kit can be quickly assembled without prior knowledge

The buyer receives the 3-axis linear gantry as a DIY kit. It consists of two (2) toothed belt axes and a toothed rack cantilever axis with stepper motors and an action range of 2,000 x 2,000 x 1,500 millimeters. A maximum length of up to 6,000 x 6,000 x 1,500 millimeters are also possible.

The package also includes a control system, cables, as well as the free igus Robot Control (iRC) software. Users can assemble the components into a ready-to-use system in just a few hours – without external help, prior knowledge, or lengthy training. And if additional components such as camera systems or grippers are needed, users will quickly find them on the robotics marketplace RBTX.

Automation relieves employees

As an example, a cartesian robot can be used on conveyor belts that transport products away from injection-molding machines. The robot picks parts with a maximum weight of 10 kilograms from the conveyor belt, transports them at a speed of up to 500mm/s, and positions them on a pallet with a repeatability of 0.8 millimeters. This automation relieves employees of physically demanding and time-consuming palletizing work, freeing up resources for more important tasks.

The system also requires no maintenance. The system’s linear axes consist of corrosion-resistant aluminum and the carriages move via plain bearings made of high-performance iglide plastics. The self-lubricating properties of the igus bearings enable a low-friction, dry operation without external lubricants.

3D digital twin enables foolproof robot programming

The iRC software from igus, enables simple and intuitive robot programming and control, allowing for an easy entry into automation. The free software allows users to program different robot kinematics.

“For many companies that don’t have in-house IT specialists, programming robots is often fraught with problems”, Mühlens said. “That’s why we developed iRC, a free software application that visually resembles commonly used office software and allows intuitive programming of movements. What makes it special is that the software is free, and the resulting low-code programming can then be used 1:1 on the real robot.”

The core of the software is a 3D digital twin of the 3-axis linear gantry, which can be used to define movements with just a few clicks.

Mühlens continued, “Prospective buyers can use the 3D model to check whether desired movements are actually feasible before making a purchase. Furthermore, we invite all interested parties to try out our robots live or via the Internet free of charge. We support them during commissioning and show what is possible with low-cost robots. It makes the investment virtually risk-free.” To learn more about igus drylin gantries and cartesian robots, click here: https://www.igus.com/info/gantry-robots

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