Product News: Welding Equipment & Supplies, Material Handling & Storage, Robotics

Robots feature automated zero position location.

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Press Release Summary:

March 15, 2006 - TAWERS Series Robotic Welders and TA Series Manipulators offer On-Board Mastering, which enables alignment of robot to factory-set zero-point for 5 axes of arc welding robot operation. After initiating mastering process, software resident on Windows CE teach pendant signals operator to select axis of motion. Robot drives arm to calibration location where operator withdraws precision-threaded pins. Robot then drives axis against pins, locating zero position of chosen axis.

Panasonic Factory Solutions Co. of America

1000 Asbury Drive, Buffalo Grove, IL, 60089, USA

Original Press Release

New Robotic Welding Technology from Panasonic: On-board Mastering

Press release date: March 9, 2006

PANASONIC INTRODUCES ON-BOARD MASTERING FOR ROBOT ALIGNMENT

-- PANASONIC TAWERS(TM) ROBOT FAMILY TO FEATURE FULLY-AUTOMATED "ZERO POSITION" LOCATION; REDUCES DOWNTIME, INCREASES WELD QUALITY--

March 9 2006. Panasonic Factory Solutions Company of America (Buffalo Grove, IL) offers On-Board Mastering, a hardware and software tool enabling alignment of the robot within minutes to the factory set zero-point for the five critical axes of any arc welding robot operation. A standard feature within the company's new TA series manipulators, extending also to the new TAWERS series of robotic welding solutions, On-Board Mastering significantly increases productivity and weld quality by reducing the time it takes to resume operations after a significant crash.

After initiating the mastering process, software resident on the Windows CE teach pendant interface signals the operator to select any of the five critical axes of motion. The robot then drives the arm to a calibration location where the operator withdraws simple, precision-threaded pins. Subsequently, the robot then drives the axis against the pins, rapidly and precisely locating the "zero position" of the chosen axis. After threading the pins back into the arm, the robot verifies the pins have been retracted through a simple motion sequence and returns to high productivity welding. The entire sequence requires only a few minutes time.

Conventional robots require either human adjustment with obvious subjectivity and consequent error or in most cases, additional hardware "jig" type add-ons which add significant amounts of time and complexity. These additional tools are typically provided at a cost premium to the end user and are usually robot model specific. On-Board Mastering from Panasonic eliminates added costs witnessed both in purchasing the unique hardware and incurring the downtime associated with implementing a highly complex solution in a "line down" situation.

For additional information: Panasonic Factory Solutions Company of America, 909 Asbury Drive, Buffalo Grove, IL 60089. PFSAmarketing@us.panasonic.com PH: 1-888-726-9353. www.panasonicfa.com.

About Panasonic Panasonic Factory Solutions, Unit of Panasonic Corporation of North America, is a leader in the design and manufacture of arc welding robots and power supplies, peripheral devices and integrated automation solutions to support the worldwide robotic arc welding marketplace.

Based in Secaucus, NJ, Panasonic Corporation of North America is the principal North American subsidiary of Matsushita Electric Industrial Co., Ltd. (NYSE:MC) of Japan, and the hub of Panasonic's U.S. marketing, sales, service and R&D operations. Information about Panasonic and its products is available at www.panasonic.com. Additional company information for journalists is available at www.panasonic.com/pressroom.

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