Toshiba Machine has announced the launch of two new collaborative robots at the International Robot Exhibition (IREX) — the world’s leading robot show, held at the Tokyo Big Sight, Japan on Wednesday 18 to Sunday 22 December 2019. Expanding on the company’s extensive range of industrial robots, the announcement was supported by the company’s official robot distributor for EMEA and America, TM Robotics.


Toshiba Machine has been an established producer of high-quality industrial robots for over two decades. The newly announced collaborative robots, encompassing a humanoid and SCARA version, are the first machines of their kind from the Japanese manufacturer. Toshiba Machine has previously prioritised the manufacture of industrial robot models such as 6-axis, SCARA and Cartesian.


At IREX 2019, Toshiba Machine unveiled live demonstrations of the new collaborative robots — or cobots — at booth S2-02, South Hall. Displays of the cobots will be accessible for the duration of the exhibition and both models will be available to order from 2020.


Toshiba Machine’s humanoid cobot was demonstrated at IREX in a live parts assembly demonstration. Boasting a 6kg maximum payload for each arm or 10kg when used in combination, the humanoid cobot has been developed to meet demand for human-machine collaboration in parts assembly and inspection processes.  


The SCARA model, which is also collaborative, expands on Toshiba Machine’s established expertise in manufacturing traditional SCARA robots. At IREX, the SCARA display demonstrated how a cobot can be used in delicate electronics handling and packaging applications — a task usually limited to highly accurate industrial machines. Also featuring two arms, the SCARA robot is suited to fast-paced handling applications.


As collaborative robots, both models will be deployable alongside human workers, allowing manufacturers to benefit from a combination of automated and manual processes. The cobots will be available with brand new, state-of-the-art robotic vision systems.


IREX 2019 also hosted the Japanese launch of Toshiba Machine’s THE600 SCARA robot. The THE600 builds on the specifications of the existing THE400 SCARA robot, boasting twice the speed and 60 per cent higher payload capacity than competing SCARA models in the same price range. Visitors to IREX can witness a demonstration of the THE600 being driven by the new TS5000 controller, a new product from Toshiba Machine which will also be available to purchase in 2020.


“Toshiba Machine has been carefully developing its new collaborative machines for several years,” explained Nigel Smith, managing director of TM Robotics. “IREX provides an ideal opportunity to showcase the impressive engineering behind these two models — as well as providing visitors with live demonstrations of how these machines operate. Our collaborative offering has been a long time coming, but it’s certainly worth the wait.”


The new robot launches mark the beginning of a new era for Toshiba Machine and its industrial robot division. From April 1, 2020, the company will return to its original name of Shibaura Machine. The name change represents a formal separation from Toshiba Corporation, but will have no impact on the new product releases that have been developed at the company’s Japanese base.


“The corporate name change will have no bearing on TM Robotics and our global distributor network, nor will it change the outstanding quality of the industrial robots —and now collaborative machines — that we offer at TM Robotics.” concluded Smith.


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