Motoman Robots Arc Welding and Handling

ACS-048.jpgAutomotive Exhaust Components

Provided flexible system capable of producing all required parts. Easily achieved 2.08-minute cycle time which is 18.75% faster than 2.56-minute requirement. Met or exceeded customer’s quality expectations.

Project Challenges

  • Automate welding of three different models of exhaust manifolds. Steel parts weigh approximately 3 kg (6.6 lbs.) each and are approximately 432 mm (17.0") long and 250 mm (10") high. Each subassembly requires eight circumferential welds and two seam welds.
  • Achieve production rate of 280,000 assemblies per year, at 4,750 hours per year.
  • Robotically tack-weld subassemblies in 1.60 minutes per part with one robot; and then final weld manifold subassembly in 2.56 minutes with one “jigless” UP50/UP6 robot combination.
  • Changeover required in less than five minutes.

Motoman Robotics Solution

  • Motoman Robotics provided two highly flexible mirror-image workcells. Each includes:
  • One UP20 tack-welding robot with XRC 2001 controller (feeding both sides of the cell).
  • Two six-axis Motoman UP50 material handling robots with XRC 2001 controllers (one per side of the cell).
  • Two six-axis Motoman UP6 welding robots with XRC 2001 controllers (one per side of the cell).
  • Five robot base risers.
  • Two flat table stations with 904-kg. (2,000-lb) payload capacity, each with operator control station.
  • Three ThermalArc welding packages (Customer supplied), including power sources, wire feeders, torches, and water circulators. Motoman universal welding interfaces, and three contact tip change boxes included.
  • Two sets of custom end-of-arm tooling for UP50 robots.
  • Two reposition stations with part-present sensors.
  • Allen-Bradley SLC 5/04 PLC package with PanelView 1000 operator interface.
  • Outfeed conveyor package – with a 5.8-meter (19-ft.) table-top steel chain conveyor and a 4.6-meter (15-ft.) table-top steel chain conveyor with end stop. Part-present sensors and light curtain to detect safe off-loading condition included.
  • Three common equipment bases.
  • Cell guarding package, including wire safety fencing with four access gates and positive break safety switches, arc flash protection curtains, and robot zone rings.

Fixtures/Tooling Details

End-of-arm tooling for UP50 material handling robots consists of custom pneumatic grippers capable of handling one tack-welded manifold assembly for finish welding by one of the UP6 robots. Since this is a “jigless” operation, the UP50 robot in each cell positions parts for welding by the UP6 robot. Motoman Robotics provided tack-welding fixtures for the flat-table positioners and reposition fixtures for manual part reorientation by the operator.

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