The client required a part with challenging geometry for grabbing and manipulation to be picked up and loaded into a slurry debur machine, the debur process produces a lot of splash onto the part and subsequently the slurry liquid clings thickly to the part and then drips onto the floor. The wet floor was constantly slippery and an operator hazard, additionally the repetitive part manipulation was less than ergonomically ideal. The 22lb/10KG part comes out of the debur process wet, dirty and sharp, just not a great combination.
This is a machining process loading/unloading application, which was traditionally done by an operator, but with it being a dirty and dangerous job. It was a perfect candidate for a robotic solution.
But there were challenges to a robotic solution, the robot needed to invert the part and load it into Qty#3 distinctly different orientations. The dirty environment, complex robotic programming, complex end of arm tool design, load and unload conveyor placement, all in tight spaces. These were all difficulties that were overcome on this project.
Control Systems International (CSI) was chosen because we provided a cost effective cell controls solution that did not require a PLC, we utilized the robot to its fullest potential as the cell controller. Additionally CSI had a part handling end of arm tool design that was ideal, that was developed in conjunction with Schunk grippers.
CSI designed and built the custom gripper to manipulate the part using 3D modeling to verify reaches and clearances for all part pickup and drop off locations. Then this was built and run in the CSI shop where the client could witness the robot cells capabilities and full functionality that exceeded cycle time requirements.
The slurry debur machine was run off with real parts in the CSI shop so the implementation onsite went smoothly. However during the course of running parts at production rate, the dirty wet nature of the slurry debur process and the splash on to the robot end of arm tool was causing the gripper to jam or bind. This was solved by putting positive air pressure into the body of the robotic gripper and also by careful programming of the robotic part carrying path.
The client is a long time manufacturer of transmission parts, they have been in business more than 20 years, producing over $50,000 worth of transmission parts daily, employing over 200 people.
CSI utilized 3d software modeling to verify the robot’s reach, grip and maneuverability. This was key to solving this process problem.
CSI also learned how significant a dirty environment can be to a robotic gripper’s functionality, also CSI learned how this problem can be dealt with by creating a positive pressure from the within gripper body and by maneuvering the part such that it does not drip excessively on the gripper body.