Case Studies / Machine Tending / Formed Metal Plumbing Components

Motoman Robot Handling and Machine TendingAchieved customer’s cost reduction and quality goals. Robots easily meet cycle time goals. Robots wait on machining centers. Project results met or exceeded all customer expectations.

Project Challenges

  • Reduce costs and need for manual labor while improving productivity, flexibility, and finished part quality.
  • Handle 50.8 mm and 63.5 mm (2" or 2.5") diameter copper parts, as well as part holding fixtures, approximately 6" H x 5" x 5" (each half is approx. 3" H x 5" x 5"). Maximum combined weight of parts and part holding fixtures – 9.07 kg (20 lbs.).
  • Achieve cycle time of approximately 60 seconds, with the process time of the machining centers being 46 to 54 seconds and time for the robot to exchange fixtures at the machining centers being approximately 7 seconds.

Motoman Robotics Solution

Motoman Robotics provided a flexible machine tending solution, including:

  • UP50 robot and XRC 2001 controller.
  • Zone ring.
  • PCMCIA card module.
  • XOI02 discrete I/O module.
  • Two machine interfaces with 8 inputs/8 outputs, wired to a terminal strip in the robot controller. Allows communication between robot controller and two machining centers.
  • Custom end-of-arm tooling. Mechanical gripper with two jaw parallel grippers for handling fixture assemblies and one three- jaw gripper for handling parts. Pneumatics package included.
  • Two part fixture holding stands, each holds up to two fixture assemblies.
  • Part infeed – two-sided manually operated rotary table. Each side holds four stacks of parts (40 parts total). Allows operator to load parts while robot is removing parts from the other side.
  • Cell guarding package that meets ANSI/RIA R15.06-1999 safety standard. Includes: safety fence, access gate with positive break safety switch, dual-channel safety hardware.

Fixtures/Tooling Details

Custom mechanical gripper consists of two pneumatically actuated two-jaw parallel grippers for handling fixture assemblies, and one three-jaw gripper for handling parts. Grippers are mounted on a common frame. Fixture grippers are separated a fixed offset distance from another to allow quick exchange of product inside the machine and quick assembly/disassembly of the fixture assemblies. Three-jaw gripper picks parts from rotary infeed table and places them into the fixtures. Sensors indicate gripper open/closed status. Gripper handles two fixture assemblies or one part at a time. Motoman also provided two custom part fixture holding stands that each hold up to two fixture assemblies. Each fabricated steel stand holds the bottom half of a fixture for assembly/disassembly and part exchange and also provides a place to store fixtures during startup and purge operations.

Ref: ACS-051

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