RNA were contracted to design and manufacture an automated press loading system for a range of copper plumbing fittings.
The system incorporated a bowl feeder, vision guided robot and control system to accumulate and load fittings into a hydro-form press. The project was for a global leader in the plumbing fittings industry that manufactured a diverse wide range of fittings often with short batch runs and short lead times.
1. Provide a flexible system that can load various fittings (3sizes and 21 types) into a hydro-form press.
2. The overall cycle time, loading and unloading were greatlydependant on the forming process time giving a short window for automatichandling
3. Provide quick and easy changeover between part runs.
4. Limited space & access between the open press tooling
The components were presented to the robot by an RNA bowlfeeder that fed parts onto a pick conveyor mounted below a Robot Vision System.The robot utilized two elements of tooling: Part one included a single vacuumcup that picked single parts from the pick conveyor and placed them into amulti cavity nest.
The 2nd part of the tooling was a multi cavity nest fittedwith an umbilical tool changer designed for quick changeover. The unit was alsodesigned for multiple configurations of nests and different component sizes andshapes.
The part nest design was mirrored on both sides and fittedwith vacuum cups to hold the product in place. During the robots 1st pass intothe cell formed fittings are picked from the press tooling and dropped onto anoutfeed conveyor out of the cell. The robot rotates the nest 180 degrees reenters the press and places the raw parts into the empty tooling cavities. Thecycle repeats.
The system was supplied with ASI network control system,full perimeter guarding, CE marked, integrated and commissioned onsite with thehydro-forming system.