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Motoman Robot Handling and Cutting

ACS-095.jpgCopper Tube and Fittings

Robot system achieves all project goals and objectives. Robot is more than 25 seconds faster than required 70-75 second cycle time. Hydraulic shear can begin cutting as soon as lifter arms raise the tube out of the coolant tank, reducing cycle time. Robotic handling process eliminates ergonomically difficult job and improves safety, while reducing labor turnover. Cut-off position is based on extruder parameters versus on an estimate made by an operator, resulting in more consistent part quality and less waste. Robot system improves safety and process efficiency by enabling scrap tub removal by forklift versus by overhead crane.

Project Challenges

  • Automate manual shearing and cut-off handling process to eliminate ergonomically difficult job, improve safety and reduce labor turnover.
  • Copper pipe length varies ±4.57-m (±15'), depending on extrusion process. Cut-off end weighs approximately 18.14 kg (40 lbs).
  • Complete the entire process for one tube within 70-75 seconds (pick the tube while it is accurately located in the coolant tank, follow the tube on the lift arms onto the table, cut off the tube, place the end in a scrap tub, and return to the pick point).
  • Improve process efficiency by enabling scrap tub removal by forklift versus by overhead crane.

Motoman Robotics Solution

Motoman Robotics provided a custom EPL160 solution, including:

  • Motoman EPL160 robot with NX100 controller.
  • Robot base riser.
  • AnyBus remote I/O board.
  • Conveyor tracking sensors.
  • Single-axis, single position external axis kit.
  • Rack-and-pinion servo track – 11-m (36.08') overall length, 10-m stroke and 1-m/second travel speed.
  • (2) Scrap tub locators – L-shaped steel frames secured to the floor with photo-eye tub-present sensors.
  • Custom end-of-arm tooling – mechanical gripper to grasp cut-off end of part, and customer-provided hydraulic shear on a pneumatic slide.
  • Cell guarding package that meets ANSI/RIA R15.06-1999 safety standard. Includes 3.66-m (12') H woven-wire perimeter safety fence; two access gates with positive-break safety switches (one for scrap tubs, one for personnel); and (2) programmable laser scanners to protect tube discharge area, and dual-channel safety hardware for access gates and scanners.

Fixtures/Tooling Details

Motoman Robotics provided a mechanical gripper with dual jaws to grasp the pipe. Linear conveyor tracking enables the gripper to grasp the pipe located in the V-shaped tank. Circular conveyor tracking allows the robot to track the pipe while it is in the lift arms. The customer provided the hydraulic shear with pneumatic slide that mounts on the robot gripper. Included are sensors for gripper open/gripper closed conditions, shear close pressure, shear open pressure, and verification that end is cut off.

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