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08850 GAVA

With an annual sales volume of more than 410 billion yen (about 3.5 billion euros), YASKAWA is a world-leading manufacturer of servo drives (Sigma-7 Series), inverter drives (such as the GA700), and Motoman industrial robots. Founded in 1915 in Japan, the company’s philosophy has been based on the principle of highest quality for more than 100 years, making YASKAWA a global leader.
The wide range of YASKAWA’s business activities covers drives (inverters), motion control (AC servo motors and drives, machine control), robotics (industrial robots and robotics systems), systems engineering (medium voltage inverters, generators, converters), and information technology (software-based products). VIPA GmbH in Herzogenaurach, which specializes in visualization and process automation, has also formed part of YASKAWA since 2012. Furthermore, YASKAWA acquired The Switch Engineering Cooperation, which does business in the wind turbine sector, in October 2014.
This makes YASKAWA one of the few global companies able to supply components and solutions for almost all industries from a single source.
Extensive investments in research and development have yielded numerous inventions, patents and innovations. These technological aspirations have enabled the Drives & Motion and Robotics divisions to achieve a leading market position in various industries including manufacturing systems and plant engineering (packaging machines, pumps/compressors, textile machines, digital printing machines, cranes and hoisting gear, equipment for semiconductor and electronics production, machines for producing and processing wood, glass, metal and stone) as well as lift, automotive, assembly and handling technology. The uses for Motoman industrial robots include robot-based welding, laboratory automation, packaging and handling, as well as automated painting.
Today, YASKAWA Europe GmbH, based in Eschborn near Frankfurt, operates the divisions Drives, Motion & Controls (automation, drives and control technology), Robotics (industrial robots) and Environmental Energy – and services the markets of Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the region of the former Soviet Union.


Product news

  • Robot-aided bottling

    The first step was to select a robot type that satisfied all requirements. For this purpose, an accessibility analysis was carried out with the YASKAWA offline simulation program MotoSim to test the different robot types for viability. The available robots were evaluated with the aid of the layout, to determine which one was best suited to the task. The main focus of attention was placed on the criteria of range, payload, precision and cycle time.

    Two robots employed

    The final decision was made in favour of the MOTOMAN MH24. With a payload of up to 24 kg, at first sight the latter would appear to be oversized, but here the key factors were the range and design of the robot. The hollow wrist of this model facilitates optimum mounting of tools and easy feed-through of the gripper cable.

    In order to reach all participants and guarantee a constant product flow, two robots had to be employed in the pilot installation. One robot was to operate in the wet zone (rinser, filler, outgoing goods) and a second robot was responsible for handling in the dry zone (flame treater, printer, incoming goods). At the interface between the two areas is the XTS table that is to be served by both robots.

    Safety concept and system communication

    To ensure connectivity to the safety concept, the robots were equipped with YASKAWA’s functional safety unit. This enables, among other things, the definition of safe areas and the integration of tool contours. Equipped with two-channel safety signals, the safety control complies with current safety standards. There were thus no further obstacles to connection of the robots to the overall safety concept.



  • Robot-based empties handling at the Paderborner brewery

    Even though the returnable beverage packaging quota has been decreasing for years, refillable bottles and crates are still in demand – especially in the brewing industry. And not just that: for many breweries, it is even worth sorting the empties of other brands according to type in order to later exchange them with their colleagues for their own empties.

    This also applies to a large extent to the Paderborner brewery. It has been part of the Warsteiner Group since 1990. However, the tradition of the modern brewery dates back to 1852. Today, around 98 per cent of the beverages produced there is filled into reusable containers. The entire handling of empties also takes place in the immediate vicinity of the filling plants. “Whereas in the past the proportion of other-brand empties was about five per cent, today it accounts for more than a third,” says Uwe Bernardy, who is in charge of the bottling department at the Paderborner brewery. And he also states the reason for this development: the increasing individualisation of bottles and crates.

    Currently, seven types of third-party empties are regularly prepared for transport on pallets. If this were sorted by hand today, 15 to 20 employees would have to do the job – a physically strenuous task which, in addition, no longer matches the generally high degree of automation of the filling line. After all, the Paderborner brewery was one of the first breweries in the world to use robots for the automatic sorting of bottles, having started in 2003.



  • Final packaging of medical-technical products with support from robots

    The number of patients requiring dialysis treatment throughout the world is constantly rising. The figure is set to increase from 3.2 million people worldwide at the end of 2017 to an estimated level of almost five million by the year 2025. This trend is attributable not only to an ageing population but also to an increase in the number of people suffering from high blood pressure and diabetes – often the early warning signs of terminal kidney failure. As a result, the demand for dialysis products is very likely to keep on growing, and it is against this background that Fresenius Medical Care has become intensively involved in this market.

    Just how large this demand has already become is clearly evidenced by the end-of-line packaging system that has gone into operation at the Fresenius site in St. Wendel in 2019 and which displays an impressive output level of close to 300 disinfecting caps per minute. When it came to finding someone to implement the complex packaging line, Fresenius turned to the packaging technology specialists – PKM Packaging.

    A challenging task

    The company based in Pirmasens is one of the top addresses for intelligent automation solutions and focuses in particular on the medical, pharmaceutical and food industries. PKM develops and engineers custom solutions that display a maximum level of productivity for applications that do not readily lend themselves to economic automation using standard systems.

    In this case, the job was first of all to pack 300 dialysis caps per minute – which are fed into the packaging system in blister packs via five feed conveyors – into so-called dispenser boxes. Ten of these dispenser boxes are then placed in a shipping carton. What sounds simple at first quickly reveals itself as a major challenge once you realise the cycle times involved.