Case Studies / Arc Welding / Agricultural Grain Bin Dryer Fan Wheels

Motoman Robots Arc Welding and HandlingRobotic solution meets all project goals and objectives. Flexible robot system can position/weld variety of fan wheel sizes with back plate inside diameters of 193.7 mm (7.625") or 323.9 mm (12.75"). Two load/unload stations provide higher throughput. Operator can load/unload one station while the robot is processing parts loaded/unloaded from the other station. Robotic welding improves productivity and quality, while reducing the need for scarce skilled welders.

Project Challenges

  • Provide a flexible robotic solution that can access and perform interior and exterior welds on many different sizes of grain bin dryer fan wheels. Inside diameter of the back plate for each part is one of two sizes: 193.7 mm (7.625") or 323.9 mm (12.75"). Parts weigh approximately 18.1 kg (40 lbs) each.
  • Each part requires 80 welds (six on the exterior of each thin-gage fan blade and four on the interior). Parts are pre-tacked and most welds are short, single-passes about 25.4-50.8 mm (1"–2") L. Access from both sides of the part is required.
  • Increase productivity and quality, while reducing direct labor costs associated with hard-to-find skilled manual welders.

Motoman Robotics Solution

  • Motoman HP165 handling robot.
  • Motoman SSA2000 “Expert Arc” welding robot.
  • NX100 DR2C controller.
  • Custom end-of-arm tooling for HP165 robot – 3-jaw gripper.
  • Miller Auto-Axcess® 450 welding package
  • Motoman ToughGun® torch packages – 500-Amp, air-cooled.
  • Operator station
  • (2) Load/unload table stations.
  • Reamers/sprayer torch cleaner with automatic wire cutter.
  • Robot base plate for HP165 robot.
  • Robot base riser for SSA2000 robot.
  • Common equipment base for NX100 and welding power supply.
  • Cell guarding that meets ANSI/RIA 15.06-1999 safety standard, including 2.5-m (8') woven-wire perimeter safety fence with one safety-interlocked gate, fence-mounted E-stop box, arc flash curtains, and light curtains at load/unload stations.

Fixtures/Tooling Details

Motoman Robotics provided custom end-of-arm tooling for the HP165 handling robot, which positions individual fan wheels during welding to provide the best access for interior and exterior welding by the SSA2000 robot. The pneumatically actuated 3-jaw mechanical gripper includes one set of fingers that can accommodate both back plate sizes using the inside diameter. The customer provided part nests at the two load/unload stations.


Ref: ACS-120

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