Technologies Supporting Innovation
Robotics Basic Technology
Epson Robots, an Outgrowth of the Precision Assembly of Watches
Industrial robots are used in the electronics, automotive, food, and medical industries, to name just a few, to transport objects, assemble parts and products, package goods, and perform countless other tasks. Modern factories depend on robots, and robot demand is expected to continue to climb in both developed and emerging countries.
Epson's robot business traces its roots back to 1983, when the company developed its first precision assembly robots for use in watch production. We currently develop, manufacture, and sell four-axis SCARA (horizontally articulated) robots and compact six-axis robots. We have a particularly strong track record in SCARA robots, and are in fact the global market share leader for seven successive years in this category*.
* Market share based on revenue of industrial SCARA robots, 2011-2017. (Source: Fuji Keizai "2012 - 2018 Reality and Future Outlook of Worldwide Robot Market").
Using Sensing Technology
Small, lightweight, slim robots capable of carrying heavy payloads
Epson's technology portfolio includes efficient, compact, precision technologies that it has refined over the decades since the company was founded. These technologies give Epson products their defining features--factors such as low power consumption, small size, and precision control. Our precision control technology allows Epson's robots to be compact, lightweight and slim, thus giving them superior productivity per unit of area.
Robots that move fast and stop immediately
Unlike large robots that transport and assemble heavy parts, Epson's compact precision robots are used to handle small parts in applications where tasks need to be performed at high speed and with greater accuracy. Equipped with motion sensors and other high-precision sensors that combine Epson's crystal device and semiconductor technologies, Epson's robots are fast, accurate, and stop immediately, with very little residual vibration.
Even at high speed, Epson robots move in a nearly straight line along a programmed path.
An Epson SCARA robot and equivalent robots from other manufacturers were equipped with a pencil and made to draw squares measuring 150 mm by 150 mm while traveling at a speed of 750 mm per second. The squares were drawn at a speed of 750 mm per second. Whereas the lines in the squares drawn by the other manufacturers' SCARA robots are crooked, the Epson robot drew an almost perfectly rectilinear square.
This graph shows the time it takes for residual vibrations to settle when an Epson 6-axis C8L robot and an equivalent robot from another manufacturer are made to perform the same movements. In the case of the Epson robot, vibration settles within about 0.2 seconds of the robot having suddenly stopped at the specified position. On the other hand, the competitor's robot, which also stopped at the specified position, continued to waver for about one second before settling in the proper position. This residual vibration can make high-precision tasks difficult and can hurt productivity.
Epson robots thus increase users' productivity by traveling straight and at high speed along the programmed path and by stopping suddenly and accurately.
Knowledge Gained by Automating Our Own Factories
Developing robots from a user's perspective
We put Epson robots to work at our own factories, which produce a variety of products, from watches to printers to projectors.
Our state-of-the-art PrecisionCore print heads for Epson's inkjet products are among the key components assembled by Epson robots.
Using our own robots in our own factories has enabled us to compile knowledge for effectively introducing and stably operating them on the manufacturing floor.
Information on automation needs gleaned from our own factories is vital for developing robots from a user's perspective.
Epson robots deployed across our production lines
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