Case Studies / Part Transfer / OTR Vehicle Lighting Systems

Motoman Robots Handling, Assembling, Testing and PackingHighly flexible system produces parts approximately 25%-30% faster. Cycle time reduced from 19-24 seconds per part manually, to 12-16 seconds per part with the robots, depending on part type. Each cell can run 10 different product types, each with two color variations. Total of 60 part numbers possible per cell. Parts can be packaged to order in three different types of pack media. Changeover between part runs is <5 minutes. Robot system requires two operators versus four or five needed for manual processing. Looping process allows operators to load multiple stations. Operators are removed or distanced from fumes. New processes (new encapsulant, new non-contact solder method, and “plug and play” application of support equipment) enabled tremendous material savings and improved part quality and aesthetics.

Project Challenges

  • Provide a modular, highly flexible automated system that can process a wide range of LED lamps for semi-trucks and trailers, ranging from 2"-4" round lamps to 25.4 mm x 38.1 mm to 50.8 mm x 146 mm (1" x 1.5" to 2 x 5.75") rectangular lamps. Parts weigh up to a maximum of 0.11 kg (0.24 lb/6 oz) each.
  • Assembly requires multiple processes, including inserting terminals into housings, soldering PCB to terminals, applying encapsulant material, curing, welding lens to housing, final testing, laser etching, greasing, labeling and off-loading for final pack.
  • Reduce direct labor; increase safety through ergonomic load stations; and reduce operator exposure to fumes.
  • Increase productivity, minimize changeover time, and improve product quality.

Motoman Robotics Solution

Motoman Robotics provided a highly flexible system consisting of two independent cells: Cell #1:

  • (1) Motoman six-axis HP6S robot with NX100 controller (used for terminal insertion). Custom mechanical gripper.
  • (2) Motoman HP6S robots with NX100 DR2C robot controller (used for soldering and encapsulant dispensing). Custom mechanical gripper.
  • MSR-500 three-position rotary table and part fixtures.
  • Terminal insertion and non-contact soldering equipment.
  • Vision system to identify/locate dispense and solder points.
  • Encapsulant dispensing and curing equipment.
  • (3) Conveyors; one each for cure, transfer and cooling. Multi-station test stand. Cell #2:
  • (1) Motoman HP6S robot with NX100 controller.
  • Custom multi-function mechanical grippers (used for unloading welder, test, label etch, and pack load).
  • Part infeed nest package.
  • (3) Plastic welding machines (vibration, ultrasonic, and spin versions); mounted on weld anchor rail for interchangeability.
  • Current draw/grease fixture.
  • Part marking laser etch machine.
  • Label applicator. Cell 1 and 2:
  • Control system using DeviceNet PLC network with PC HMI.
  • Cell guarding package that meets ANSI-RIA R15.06-1999 safety standard. Includes safety fencing; (5) access gates; teach pendant hook switches; and light curtains.

Fixtures/Tooling Details

Motoman Robotics provided custom end-of-arm tooling consisting of mechanical grippers with quick-change fingers. Robot sensors on gripper verify that finger type matches the part type to be run. Additionally, Motoman Robotics provided part fixtures used on the rotary table and a special testing fixture that can accommodate all part types. Sensors on the robot gripper also verify welding fixtures on the welder.

Ref: ACS-089