Case Studies / Part Transfer / Glass Tubes for Lighting

Motoman robot handling glass tubesAchieved 14-second cycle time – 33% faster than 21-second requirement. Flexible handling system meets all project objectives.

Project Challenges

  • Achieve 21-second cycle time.
  • Glass tube diameter is approximately 25.4 mm (1") but may vary to 32.3 mm (1.3").
  • Handle tubes that are unevenly spaced in the racks.
  • Handle batch-processed parts in two different part lengths: 457.2-mm (18") and 1,219.2-mm (48") tubes.
  • Pick 50 tubes at a time from conveyor and place parts in one of three rack stations.
  • Pick 50 tubes at a time from one of three rack stations and place tubes back on conveyor.
  • Stack parts in rack up to 100 layers high (about 5,000 tubes per rack).

Motoman Robotics Solution

  • Motoman Robotics provided a flexible material handling solution, including:
  • UP130 robot with XRC 2001 controller.
  • Vacuum gripper, including pneumatics package.
  • Three-color light beacon to indicate operating status of cell.
  • Three rack station: two with fixed racks, and a third station that accommodates removable storage racks.
  • Workcell protection package, including: wire fencing, light curtains, and two safety-interlocked gates. Equipment meets or exceeds requirements of the ANSI/RIA R15-06-1999 safety standard.

Fixtures/Tooling Details

Gripper array uses 4 cups per tube and 50 rows of cups to pick up glass tubes, which may not be centered due to 1.27-mm (0.05") part variance. The vacuum gripper is equipped with sensors to indicate part presence, rack stack height, and gripper readiness. Customer-designed part racks have ridges on the bottom to help space the first row of parts evenly.

Ref: ACS-040

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