Hanwha has been showing off its new collaborative robot, which it may utilise in its various automation projects going forward.
The company recently won a contract to provide a logistics automation facility for the Nexen Tire company’s planned factory in the Czech Republic.
Hanwha says it has made inroads into robotics because it had anticipated its importance.
It claims to be the “first among Korean enterprises to release a collaborative robot”, when it first displayed its cobot earlier this year,
The collaborative robot is called HCR-5 and it represents the first step in Hanwha Techwin’s “full-fledged operation in robotics”, says the company.
Hanwha is also enthusiastic about what it calls the fourth industrial revolution – the trend of connecting machines to the internet.
It says its foray into robotics – which initially includes unmanned surveillance robots and autonomous vehicles – is “not only the result of a pragmatic decision to apply their knowhow, but also the natural next step forward”.
For the robot industry, Hanwha Techwin says its collaborative robot is a practical solution that saves time and labor in manufacturing.
The conventional or mainstream robot in today’s manufacturing industry is typically an unmanned industrial robot.
These robots, however, are costly, take up large spaces, need to be separated from their operators, and require skilled technicians to control them. They are usually unaffordable for small to medium-size companies.
In contrast, collaborative robots work directly alongside their operators and do not require large spaces. So for manufacturing companies of any size, they are easy to operate, safe, and relatively affordable.
The HCR-5 is Hanwha Techwin’s first collaborative robot for the robot market.
The HCR-5 has high appeal for its affordability, high performance, easy operation, safe and attractive design, says Hanwha.
The HCR-5 has a low initial investment that translates to a lower barrier to entry. It also costs less to operate.
Hanwha says the HCR-5 only requires one control box and one teach pendant to control two robots. This reduces the operating cost to about 30 percent less than with other industrial robots.
Hanwah claims the HCR-5 has a reach radius of 91.5cm – the farthest reach among robots in the same class, and has a repeatability of 0.1 mm, making it “ideal for precision work”.
And the HCR-5 robot weighs 20kg, so it can be easily moved without a forklift or any other special transporting equipment.
Another feature of the HCR-5 is its “easily programmable user interface”, according to Hanwha.
A touchscreen teach pendant and a direct teaching function allow operators to teach the robot tasks by moving the robot body with their hands.
Also, HCR-5’s collision detection function also ensures the operator’s safety by automatically stopping when an imminent impact is detected.
Hanwha Techwin CEO Shin Hyun-Woo at the robot’s launching event, says: “We expect that the launch of Hanwha Techwin’s collaborative robot can serve as the momentum for Korea’s robot industry to grow.
“We are committed to investing continuously in the robot business and make inroads into Asia, Europe and the wider global market.”
Hanwha says the global collaborative robot market is currently valued at $191.86 million, as of 2016, but it is expected to grow 60 percent year over year to $32.19 billion by 2022.