Published 13-04-2021
| Article appears in April 2021 Issue

Innovative robotics components on show in NZ, courtesy of SMC

SMC ROBOTIC components

SMC is using the Foodtech Packtech 2021 exhibition, taking place in Auckland this week (13-15 April), to showcase its range of robotics components.

This range includes products using artificial intelligence (AI) and industrial internet of things (IIoT) technologies that have been welcomed by the industry, not just the manufacturing sector but across the board globally.    

According to Shyam Suresh, branch manager for SMC Corporation, Auckland, robots are being welcomed by manufacturers both big and small. “Today it is all about efficient, quality manufacturing with no room for error. At the same time, manufacturers are thinking of new ways to ensure social distancing and to deal with challenges around shortened supply chains, lights-out manufacturing and reshoring,” he said.

However, humans can breathe a sigh of relief knowing that robots will never replace humans. “Our ability to think strategically and invent is unique to humans,” Mr Suresh added.

Robotics will greatly assist with flexibility, easy integration, and fast operation, three key requirements that industry constantly demands.

Based on this, it’s no surprise that everyone is making room for robots; in fact, the International Federation of Robotics says that the industrial robotic sector continues to grow at a staggering 15% year-on-year.

Components and robotics meet

Answering the call by manufacturers for components to support robotic applications, SMC created a range of lightweight, compact and energy efficient products.

“Just as technology evolves, so do we,” comments Mr Suresh. “We recognise the needs of our customers and develop solutions accordingly.”

He details products on show as follows:

The EX600-W (wireless) fieldbus system. This is the world’s first integrated wireless valve system, designed to benefit any robotic application. It offers fewer cables and connectors, less installation and maintenance, less breakage and disconnection risk, as well as an increase in machine availability (OEE improvement).

SMC’s EX260 integrated fieldbus system can be mounted directly onto a robot arm. It’s lightweight and offers a short connection time.

SMC recently introduced the narrowest 5-port solenoid valve on the market. At just 6.4mm, the new JSY series is a compact, flexible, and light-weight solution.

One of the most prominent features is that, despite its compact size, the JSY series can achieve an incredible flow rate of 179 to 1551 l/min. Thanks to its speed, cycle times are decreased, and productivity is increased, which makes it a great addition for installations where improving efficiency is key.

For applications where suction pads and grippers will not perform optimally due to uneven or porous surfaces, magnetic gripper (MHM series) might be the answer. With a holding force of up to 1.000N, it is a versatile solution with a great variety of applications for handling ferrous metals.

In addition, SMC offers various other end-effectors and develops plug-and-play grippers and vacuum systems for all robot suppliers. “They are based on energy efficiency and performance, with special focus on size and weight optimisation. The consideration of weight, overall dimensions and ergonomics assist machine wrist movements and avoid limiting its performance,” adds Mr Suresh.

SMC’s components can be used for robotic applications such as welding, glass handling, gripping, lifting, vertical handling, vacuum manipulation, wrapped food transportation, energy efficient packaging and more.

About SMC

Is 60 years old and operates in 83 countries, has an R&D engineering team of 1,450 who are experts delivering automation solutions. It is the world’s leading pneumatics provider and has been voted for three consecutive years as one of the most innovative global companies by leading business magazine Forbes.

SMC  -



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