Case Studies / Part Transfer / Heavy Truck Axles

Motoman Robot HandlingAchieved cycle time of 6 seconds, handling two parts at a time. Robot can fill partial racks and handle all part sizes.

Project Challenges

  • Unload hot forged (upset) parts from cooling conveyor exiting from upsetter cell that puts splines on the end of axles.
  • Meet required cycle time of 600 parts per hour (6-second cycle).
  • Handle more than 75 different part numbers.
  • Steel axles range from 893.8 - 1,808.2 mm (35.2" - 71.2") in length, with bar diameters 34.3 - 57.2 mm (1.4" - 2.3").
  • Axle weight will range from 11.3 - 34 kg (25 - 75 lbs.); maximum axle weight is 34 kg (75 lbs.).
  • Robot must be able to fill partial part racks.

Motoman Robotics Solution

This is one of approximately 40 Motoman robots this customer has in production. For this project, Motoman Robotics provided a flexible material handling solution for unloading a cooling conveyor leading from the upsetter, including:

  • Motoman UP165 robot with XRC controller.
  • 36" robot riser.
  • Custom end-of-arm tooling (pneumatically actuated mechanical gripper) dual parallel gripper with “V” jaws to handle two parts simultaneously.
  • Two rack locating stands; each locates two customer supplied axle storage racks.
  • Two custom operator stations.
  • Two status beacons to indicate rack status (full/empty/changeout required).
  • Two 24" light curtains. Conveyor interface.
  • Cell guarding package, including rapid roll-up access doors in front of the two rack locations, and fiberglass heat shielding to protect robot and operators from radiant heat from axles.

Fixtures/Tooling Details

Motoman Robotics provided a custom mechanical dual-parallel gripper equipped with “V” jaws to simultaneously handle two parts from a cooling conveyor. Slide mechanism allows gripper to automatically adjust centerline spacing to fill the part racks. Gripper includes sensors that the robot uses to search for axle stack heights in partially filled racks.

Ref: ACS-041

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