Case Studies / Arc Welding / Automotive Axle Assemblies

ACS-056.jpgCycle time achieved. System does not allow incorrect parts to be loaded. New part assemblies are easily added to the system. Robot programs are shifted from basic programs. This allows the cell to weld an infinite number of part sizes and part variations, vs. taught-path programming.

Project Challenges

  • Provide a highly flexible, fully automated robotic welding solution that does not require manual changeover between various part families and part sizes.
  • System accommodates tubular parts with three diameters and adjustable lengths up to 3,048 mm (120").
  • Prior to picking the tube, the system will check the tube length. If the tube is not within tolerance, the system will not weld the part.

Motoman Robotics Solution

Motoman Robotics provided a highly flexible QR4C system, including:

  • 2 UP130 (handling) robots.
  • 2 UP6 (welding) robots.
  • XRC 2001 robot controller (one teach pendant is used to program all FOUR robots).
  • Input station for manual loading of axle components.
  • Output station with automatic ejection of completed assemblies.
  • Robot end-effectors to hold axle components.
  • Complete safety equipment, including light curtains and fencing.
  • 2 Arc data monitoring systems. (Confirm that actual welding parameters are within predetermined ranges. If not, the system does not open the clamps and signals the operator to quarantine the assembly.)
  • Common base for system.
  • MotoHMI includes extensive displays for part changeover and diagnostic assistance, including drawings of the system to aid in troubleshooting, and RobotPro for robot system diagnostics.

Fixtures/Tooling Details

Motoman Robotics provided two custom grippers for the two UP130 handling robots. Each gripper features a two-finger module and a four-finger module used to pick up different types of components. The gripper includes an automatic compliance device to compensate for normal tube length variation. All clamps automatically open and close, and include clamp-closed switches. Motoman also provided a single set of flexible input and output fixtures. The input station holding fixture incorporate slides. Fixtures are automatically adjusted using the UP130 robots and the part holding features. The operator inputs the part number, signaling the robots to move the machine fixtures to the correct setup. Changeover typically requires less than 20 seconds to complete. A green indicator light signals the operator that the parts can be loaded for operation.

Ref: ACS-056

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