Looking for a base to support an industrial robot

  • I am looking for a heavy and sturdy base to use to support an industrial robot (I am thinking something in the KUKA Quantec Line). The idea here is that the robot would not be mounted and limited to a single place in our shop and could be moved to different setups for different operations and programs. A forklift could simply move the entire platform on which the robot is mounted.

    Here is a linkto a video that is representative of my idea. In this case, it is an ABB robot.

    Does anyone know of a company that makes these platforms for industrial robots?

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  • We used Vention's 3d Machine Builder for our robot base and the parts table.

    They have a machine builder on-line that you can use to design it yourself, or you can choose from pre-existing designs, or you can give your criteria to them and and they will design it for you.

    Once designed and ordered, they can either assemble it for you or you can assemble it yourself and save some money.

    We ordered the robot base and had them assemble it. Later we decided we needed a bigger "pallet" (table to stack raw parts on) and something that was tied to the base so we didn't have to keep setting our grid locations every time we changed jobs or had to move the cart that we were using.

    I designed the main concept for the table with a set working envelope on their website as much as I had time for then I turned over the design to them for finishing. Took them a couple of days and a couple of design reviews to get it where we wanted it but they were very easy to work with and very attentive.

    Vention Existing Designs for General Robot Bases

    Vention Existing Design Close to What We Used

    Some notes on having a mobile robot platform...

    The base we use has casters on it so we can move it if we need to. The casters have pads that extend down below the wheels so it can "lock" into place. The pads are rubber.

    We ended up making some "L" brackets and bolting the base to the floor because as the robot worked it kept "creeping" around on the floor, literally moving out of position.

    It was very small amounts that it moved over time but it resulted in mis-placed parts and alarms.

    I'm not saying yours will wander around the floor but it's something to consider.

    With that in mind, I designed my table to mount directly to the base of the robot stand so it will always be "in position". Two legs are bolted to the base and the other two legs have the same adjustable casters on it so we can move it if we need to. (Will have to re-drill and anchor studs in the floor for the L brackets but that's a quick 10 minute job.)

    Hope this helps.

  • Rekd - An extrusion base might be an OK solution for a small/low-speed collaborative robot, or something similar (although in my experience, they're not) - but I absolutely would not want to put an actual industrial robot on one, and expect it to do anything but cause problems and/or hurt someone.

    If you had a good experience with Vention, that's great - just keep in mind any extrusion manufacturer (of which there are a boatload) will provide exactly the same service. Reach out to your local automation supplier and see who they use - extrusion is a commodity, and everybody's got the same software tools (usually a CAD add-in) available to design it.

    therobotman - lots of robot manufacturers actually have 'standard' bases they'll sell along with their robots. Not the cheapest option, but pretty decent. One thing to keep in mind: almost every robot manufacturer is going to tell you that the robot needs to be anchored to the floor. Most of them have very, very specific requirements for how to do this. Fanuc will even tell you which anchors to use, how many, spacing, etc. This is why the base in the video you linked to is the size that it is - you need to make sure the center of gravity and moment loads of the fully loaded, moving-at-full-speed robot never get outside the footprint of the base, else you risk it tipping over. I would still be concerned about it sliding around. I've seen big six axis robots that weighed several thousand pounds sitting on bases that weigh even more than that rip anchors out of concrete floors when not properly anchored, or in one case, when the concrete was only a couple of inches thick (and no one cared enough to pay attention.)

    If you're doing anything really heavy and/or fast, then use a docking system of some sort. Either setting anchors/clamps/ball-locks in the floor, or bolting and unbolting your robot base from the machine it's working with. If done right, it really won't take any longer to move than if it wasn't anchored.

    I don't know of a standard solution for this, as it's not the typical application for industrial robots. If you have the footprint to be able to do it, and want to pursue a custom solution, feel free to reach out.

  • You might consider a trick we used years ago for trade shows. We fabricated a steel box, maybe 5 ft x 5 ft x 1 ft. Bottom plate + four sides. On the underside were added channels for fork lift forks. Inside the box were added four mounting bosses with tapped holes. On top of the box was a 3/4-inch thick tooling plate secured to the internal mounting bosses. The box was filled with landscaping crushed rock for ballast. It weighed a million pounds. But we mounted large, fast robots on it used to do a lot of flashy zip & spin high-inertia moves for the trade show audience. I do not recall that beast ever moved a hair.

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