Case Studies / Machine Tending / Automotive Wheel Hubs

Motoman Robot Handling and Machine TendingRobot system reliably loads/unloads pairs of raw/machined wheel hubs, maximizing throughput by eliminating downtime. Robotic system improves safety, and reduces manual labor required. Robotic system easily achieves required 25-second cycle time (not including time for machine tool cycle).

Project Challenges

  • Automate load/unload operations for two machining centers (drilling operation) and a gauging fixture.
  • Improve operator safety, reduce need for manual labor.
  • Maximize system throughput by eliminating downtime.
  • Provide automated system that can handle two raw/two finished wheel hub parts weighing 4.54 kg (10 lbs) each with an outside diameter (O.D.) of 183.26-mm (7.215") into/from each machining center and the gauging fixture. Wheel hubs will be oriented hub-down and placed on 254-mm (10") centers.
  • Achieve 25-second cycle time for robot handling operation (not including machine tool cycle time).

Motoman Robotics Solution

Motoman Robotics provided a custom UP50N solution, including:

  • UP50N robot with NX100 controller.
  • Robot base riser.
  • S-axis hard stop.
  • Additional XOI01 discrete I/O module.
  • Custom end-of-arm tool – mechanical gripper.
  • 3.35-m (11') gravity infeed roller conveyor with escapement and part locator, sufficient to accumulate up to 15 wheel hub parts.
  • Allen-Bradley SLC/504 PLC with PanelView 1000.
  • Customer supplied 4.56-m (15') powered chain-type outfeed conveyor.
  • Reject chute that can accumulate up to six parts.
  • Cell guarding package that meets ANSI/RIA R15.06-1999 safety standard, including (2.44-m (8') high woven-wire perimeter safety fence, two access gates with positive-break safety switches and dual-channel safety hardware, and three-color safety status beacon.

Fixtures/Tooling Details

Motoman Robotics provided a custom-designed pneumatically actuated mechanical gripper that simultaneously handles two pairs of wheel hubs (two raw/two finished) on 9" centers. Grippers clamp on outside diameter (O.D.) of the smaller-diameter spindle that protrudes from the wheel hub body. Tooling includes gripper open/gripper closed and part-present sensors. Electrical and pneumatics packages are included.

Ref: ACS-072

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