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Reducing the weight of six-axis robot end effectors

In cases in which a heavier end effector would impact cycle times, using Futaba's
CFRP PLATE in place of aluminum has made it possible to maintain cycle times.


Replacing end effectors made of aluminum with ones made of Futaba's CFRP PLATE makes it possible to achieve equivalent precision and strength with lighter weight.


Semiconductor and electronic components industry


Applications and advantages

End effector component of six-axis robot for inserting connector components


Producing end effector components with Futaba's CFRP PLATE reduces weight to half that of one made of aluminum.

Background of introduction

Problems to solve

 Changes in the production process required longer cycle times.


​ The production process has changed.

 The connector component insertion robot designed for an eight-cavity mold needed to be changed to handle a mold with 10 or more cavities due to changes in the production process.

​ The changes in the production process made the end effector heavier.

 To accommodate molds with 10 or more cavities, the end effector was made with aluminum as before, increasing the weight.

 The heavier end effector increased cycle times.

 The heavier end effector entailed longer cycle times.

To maintain cycle times, this would necessitate introducing a new robot, with the associated costs.

 Customer comment

 The payload was within the limits, even though we used aluminum as before to produce the end effector component for a mold with 10 or more cavities. However, when we also took into account conveyor speed and moment, we had no choice but to consider replacing the robot.

​Futaba's CFRP PLATE solved the problem!

The end effector component was made with Futaba's CFRP PLATE, which is as strong as aluminum but has half the specific gravity. The substitution made it possible to build a production line using the existing robot!


Advantages of introduction

Advantages of introducing Futaba's CFRP PLATE

Replacing end effector components made of aluminum with ones made of Futaba's CFRP PLATE significantly reduced component weight and enabled production with ideal cycle times.

Weight of end effector reduced

Performance increased, conveyor speed maintained

​ Customer comment

Weight reduced from 3.2 kg to 1.5 kg

The system operates at the required speed with no problems.

More than six months after installation, the system remains in continuous operation without problems.

We thought the only way to maintain cycle times was to buy a new robot. However, by adopting high-strength, ultra-lightweight Futaba's CFRP PLATE, we solved the problem by customizing the existing robot. This cut costs throughout the process without introducing a new robot.


Comments from a Professional Engineer

In this case involving insert molding, the number of parts that had to be inserted increased, which increased the weight of the end effector in the mechanism of the robot for attaching the parts to the mold, leading to insufficient payloads. The end effector was replaced with one made of Futaba's CFRP PLATE to reduce weight, eliminating the need for replacement with a large, expensive robot. The new end effector maintains positioning performance and the motion of the take-out jig while preventing energy consumption from increasing. Futaba's CFRP PLATE must be useful to improve and refine existing or new designs in these constraining circumstances.


Professional Engineer, Japan; certified by the Institution of Professional Engineers, Japan Nagano Professional Engineer Office CEO

​Makoto Nagano

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