Case Studies / Machine Tending / Automotive Crankshafts

Robotic Handling and Machine TendingTwo identical robot systems fully automate the crankshaft pack-out operation and meet all project goals and objectives. Systems achieve desired production rate of approximately one crankshaft every 15 seconds. Depending on whether pack-out requires rust inhibitor station and/or trays, cycle time varies between 9.5 and 20.2 seconds. Average cycle time is approximately 13-14 seconds, which is faster than customer’s requirement. Flexible systems handle a wide range of crankshaft models, improve quality and reduce/eliminate dropped and damaged parts. Robust designs and components provide reliable production and maintains uptime average for maximum throughput.

Project Challenges

  • Provide robotic systems to pick a wide variety of crankshafts from two inspection conveyors, load and unload a rust inhibitor station (as required), then pack the crankshafts into shipping containers, bins or baskets. Pack-out includes handling part trays, as required.
  • Achieve production rate of one crankshaft approximately every 15 seconds/240 per hour. (Cycle time varies depending on required sequence of operations.)
  • Crankshafts are batch run. Parts range in size from 449.5-653.5 mm (17.7-25.7") L with 52-73.74 mm (2.05-2.9") dia. and weigh 17.5-34.7 kg (38.6-76.5 lbs).
  • Fully automate pack-out process, improve quality and reduce/eliminate dropped and damaged parts.
  • Maintain uptime average for maximum throughput using robust designs and components.

Motoman Robotics Solution

Motoman Robotics provided two HP165XP material handling cells. Each cell includes:

  • Motoman HP165XP robot with individual NX100 controllers. (XP model has anti-corrosive paint and IP-67 rated wrist.)
  • Robot base riser.
  • Base plate.
  • DeviceNet module.
  • Custom end-of-arm tool – pneumatically actuated mechanical gripper with dual parallel jaws.
  • Gripper stand and automatic tool changer.
  • Controller stand.
  • Controls package, including programmable logic controller and human machine interface.
  • Cell guarding package that meets ANSI-RIA R15.06-1999 safety standard, including: 2.44-m (8') H woven-wire perimeter safety fence; (2) access gates with positive-break safety switches and dual-channel safety hardware; (2) light curtains; and (8) safety bollard posts for light curtain protection.

Fixtures/Tooling Details

The customer provided the design and Motoman built four end-of-arm tools (two per cell). Each pneumatically actuated mechanical gripper consists of two sets of parallel jaws designed to clamp on the bearing journals of individual crankshafts. The same gripper handles part trays, as needed. Sensors are not included.

Ref: ACS-109

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