Case Studies / Press Tending/Forming / Sheet Metal Panels

Motoman Robots Press TendingRun-off cycle time of 10.6 seconds met customer's requirements.

Project Challenges

  • Automate press tending operations to improve safety and production rate.
  • Achieve production rate of 300 parts per hour.
  • Provide flexibility for frequent die changes required to accommodate 21 different part styles (made for three different end-customers).
  • Use common vacuum gripper design to handle all part styles, sheet metal stampings approximately 762 mm L x 178 mm W x 51 mm H (30" x 7" x 2").
  • Facilitate access to the press for die changes, and minimize vibration and use of floor space.
  • Provide 610 mm (24") clearance between the press column and the robot mounting structure legs for Customer supplied scrap conveyor.

Motoman Robotics Solution

  • Three invert-mounted SK45 robots with MRC controllers, and extended 10-meter manipulator cables
  • Custom robot mounting structure
  • Three custom vacuum grippers, each with four part-present sensors (one sensor per set of vacuum cups)
  • Zone interference cube software is used to define noninterference zones between robots and press
  • Robot work envelopes overlap, but I/O handshakes between the three MRC controllers allow the robots to handle parts in close proximity without interference

Fixtures/Tooling Details

Motoman designed and supplied the custom end-of-arm tooling. All three SK45 robots use a very similar adjustable gripper design. The four vacuum cup sets on the identical Robot 1 and Robot 2 grippers are mounted at an angle. The gripper on Robot 3 is slightly longer, and the sets of vacuum cups are mounted level and slightly wider apart. Each pneumatic vacuum gripper holds two parts, and includes two part-present sensors to ensure both sides of each part are held securely by the vacuum cups. Motoman also designed and supplied the custom gantry structure used to invert-mount the SK45 robots. Invert mounting the robots from the gantry structure instead of from the side of the press minimizes vibration and facilitates access to the dies for frequent changeover.

Ref: ACS-009

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