It's better to give than to receive!
All Motoman robots from Yaskawa with a payload of 50 kg or more and equipped with the current YRC1000 robot controller are now able to convert kinetic energy from downward and sideways movements directly into alternating current and feed it back into the grid. This should enable the robots' energy requirements to be significantly reduced, depending on the movement pattern.26 Oct 2022
In their very diverse tasks - be it handling, palletizing, joining or machining - industrial robots also perform many sideways and, above all, downward movements, during which the servomotors dissipate energy and could potentially generate electricity. Until now, however, this energy has been converted into waste heat by electrical resistors in the control system and dissipated unused into the environment. This is now set to change, with Japanese robotics specialist Yaskawa offering for the first time a technical solution for feeding robot braking energy back into the power grid - as standard and without additional hardware.
According to Yaskawa, the individual savings achieved with the solution presented depend essentially on the task and the individual movement pattern of the robot. The savings would be in the range of eight to 25 percent, or the equivalent of up to 2,800 kilowatt hours, or currently around 1,200 euros per year. And the environment is thanked for up to 1.6 tons of CO2 saved per year and robot.
Intelligent operating concepts pay off
With this technical solution, which according to Yaskawa is the only one of its kind to date, the drive technology manufacturer is making full use of its experience - after all, all servo drives and control packages originate from its own company and are therefore optimally adapted for use in industrial robots. Yaskawa's Motoman robots also open up further efficiency potential thanks to their slim and compact design with low moving masses and the rapid application of brakes during movement pauses, which switch off the active and energy-consuming position control when not in use. And that's not all: intelligent operating concepts developed by the user can also contribute to energy savings from the outset, for example by automatically shutting down the robots during predictable breaks.
Energy efficiency as a strategic corporate goal
Energy efficiency solutions like these - as well as the promotion of environmental management through optimized processes and green products - are an integral part of Yaskawa's global corporate strategy. For example, the company has set itself the ambitious goal of saving 100 times the amount of self-generated CO2 emissions worldwide through its products by 2025. In doing so, the Yaskawa Group aligns its activities with the 17 UN Sustainable Development Goals and focuses on sustainable projects such as digitizing value chains, taking on heavy and dirty tasks through automation, and efficient food production in smart agriculture for a sustainable, profitable, and livable future.
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