Anaheim, Calif. -- Initial market demand for the new Epson Synthis T3 all-in-one SCARA robot is much higher than projected, leading Seiko Epson Corp. to seek more units for North American and South American markets.
"We are trying to get more units," said Rick Brookshire, group product manager, said in an interview at the UBM Advanced Manufacturing Expo in Anaheim, Feb. 6-8.
The robots unit of Seiko Epson Corp. of Suwa, Japan, began shipping the T3 to Asian and European customers around May and to the Western Hemisphere in October.
An Epson development facility in Toyoshina, Japan, designed and built the T3. Synthis is a marketing-shortened version of synthesis. SCARA is an acronym for selective compliance articulated robot arm.
The T3 has a built-in controller and an easily installed integration solution for pick-and-place, assembly, parts handling and dispensing applications.
Brookshire gave an example of the T3's capabilities. He is based in Carson, Calif., with Epson Robots applications engineering and service teams.
"I visited a customer with a dial-in table" with five slide positions and a SCARA-robot-controlled sixth index position, he said.
The customer said, "We love the robot [because] it never breaks" after being in service for more than five years. In contrast, the customer reported that the slides break and require virtually constant technical support for the large firm's more than 100 stations.
Now, Epson characterizes the T3 as "the ultimate slide alternative."
"The new T3 addresses all of that customer's relevant issues and demonstrates the value of Epson Robots research into what companies need," Brookshire said.
In Japan, Epson builds the bulk of the T3 components, including motors, controllers, encoders and amplifiers. Those capabilities "help reduce cost and allow Epson to pass these savings on to customers," he noted.
"We also made sure heat is not an issue," he said. "Heat and vibration are killers for almost any robot."