Case Studies / Arc Welding / Moldboards for Sectional Snowplows

Motoman Robots Arc WeldingFlexible robotic welding solution produces consistent, high-quality welds and meets or exceeds project goals. System requires minimal manual changeover and can be run with same-size moldboards in both sets of positioner fixtures or with small moldboards fixtured on one side and large moldboards on the other. System is six to seven times more productive than manual process and can weld two large moldboards in only 13 minutes (92 per shift) and/or two small moldboards in only 10 minutes (120 per shift). Robot system can weld sections for 19-20 snowplows per shift, which is approximately double the project goal.

Project Challenges

  • Provide robotic system capable of producing 10 snowplows per 10-hour shift, with each snowplow consisting of five or six moldboards made of 3.18 mm (0.125") steel. Production goal is to weld at least 50-60 moldboards per shift.
  • Large moldboards are approximately 812.8 mm W x 1,066.8 mm H (32" W x 42" H) and weigh 49.9 kg (110 lbs). Small moldboards are 762 mm W x 762 mm H (30" W x 30" H) and weigh 36.3 kg (80 lbs).
  • Depending on the model, each moldboard requires approximately 65 welds that range from 76.2-101.6 mm (3"-4") L.
  • Improve productivity, and reduce cycle time over manual process that requires one welder approximately 40-45 minutes per large moldboard and 30-35 minutes per small moldboard.
  • Reduce direct labor and need for skilled welders.

Motoman Robotics Solution

  • (3) Motoman SSA2000 robots
  • NX100 TRC robot controller – three robot controllers interfaced as a single controller with one programming pendant
  • (3) Miller Auto-Axcess® weld packages – 450-Amp, water-cooled
  • (3) Motoman Tough-Gun® torch packages
  • (3) Reamer/sprayer nozzle cleaning stations with wire cutters
  • Motoman MRM2-900M1X positioner – AC servo-driven dualheadstock/tailstock trunnion positioner with 900 kg (1,984.5-lb) capacity per side; 6.5-sec. sweep, 3.0-m (9.8') span between HS and TS, and 1,200 mm (47.2") maximum part diameter
  • Custom fixture package
  • Operator station on stand-alone pedestal. Functions include: job start, emergency stop, hold, alarm reset, and servo powerup. Positioner auto/manual switch included
  • Common equipment base for robot controller, and welding power supplies and disconnects
  • Cell guarding that meets ANSI/RIA 15.06-1999 safety standard, including 2.4-m (8') safety fence with personnel access gate and positive-break safety switch, arc flash protection curtains, light curtains at positioner load/unload station, and three-color status beacon.

Fixtures/Tooling Details

Motoman Robotics provided two sets of custom fixture frames, one per side of the positioner, with two fixtures per frame. Fixtures are manually clamped. Minor, manual changeover of fixture details is required to allow each fixture to hold pairs of large or small moldboards.

Ref: ACS-115

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