Case Studies / Machine Tending / Prosthetic Joints

Motoman Robot Machine TendingFlexible system easily achieves required production rate of 60 parts per hour. Robot portion of system can produce 80 parts per hour (33.33% faster than requirement); CNC machine speed limits throughput speed. System requires minimal operator intervention (approximately 45-minute intervals to load parts). System reduces need for manual labor, while improving productivity, flexibility and quality. Robot delivers parts to QC chute upon request.

Project Challenges

  • Load/unload titanium parts to/from a horizontal CNC machining center and a surface finishing blast machine, and then load finished parts into customer-supplied trays on an outfeed conveyor. Parts weigh 0.2 kg (0.44 lbs), and are approximately 69.85 mm L x 47.6 mm W (2.75" L x 1.875" W) and 7.62 mm (0.3" thick). Parts have a 12.95-mm (0.51") dia. protruding shaft that is approximately 39.88 mm (1.57") L.
  • Achieve production rate of 60 parts per hour.
  • Reduce need for manual labor, while improving productivity, flexibility and quality.

Motoman Robotics Solution

Motoman Robotics provided a custom HP20 machine tending system, including:

  • HP20 robot with NX100 controller.
  • Robot base riser.
  • Water-, oil-, and abrasion-resistant robot upper arm sleeve.
  • Gravity conveyor system – dual-tier gravity conveyor with hinged station; 1,829-mm (6') overall length, 457.2-mm (18') effective width; cables, cylinders for escapements and tilt station, and sensors. Two accumulation zones on infeed, in addition to load station, and two zones on outfeed sections allow for approximately 45-minute intervals of uninterrupted production.
  • Custom end-of-arm tool – dual mechanical gripper.
  • Part reorient station includes part blow-off package.
  • Rotary infeed table – two-position pneumatic table with 914-mm (36”) dia. top plate, extruded aluminum framework, and fixtures to hold 24 parts at a time per side (48 parts total).
  • QC chute with high-level sensor.
  • Common equipment base for robot, conveyor, rotary table, and tray positioning equipment.
  • Auxiliary E-stop station.
  • Pedestal-mounted PanelView 600 operator station.
  • Cell guarding package, including:
    • 2.44-m (8') H perimeter safety fencing – extruded aluminum with clear plastic panels.
    • Access gate with dual-channel safety hardware and positive- break safety switch.
    • Three-color light beacon.

Fixtures/Tooling Details

Motoman Robotics provided a dual mechanical gripper that handles two parts at a time. It consists of two pneumatically actuated parallel jaw grippers mounted on a frame, with the grippers separated a fixed offset distance (and angled) from one another to allow quick exchange of product inside the machine, as well as product pick-up and drop-off at the same physical location. Sensors indicate gripper open/closed status and part presence.

Ref: ACS-062

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