When approached by a washroom equipment manufacturer about automating one of its lines, engineers at RobotWorx jumped at the chance to design a robotic system that performs multiple applications. The customer needed an automated system to move pipes, drill holes, and insert end caps into steel pipes.
Versatility: The customer manufactures many types of washroom fixtures and wanted to use one automated system to work on two different sized pipes. The ability to perform all of applications needed in one compact system held much importance for the customer.
Quality/Precision: The holes being drilled into the steel pipes needed to be precise down to one-thousandth of an inch.
Footprint: Like any industrial manufacturer, space was at a premium on the shop floor for this customer. The more use a space received, the better. They needed a compact system that featured a limited footprint.
Safety: Versatility, precision, and a limited footprint would not be worth the effort if safety was not considered. The customer needed a system that could perform the tasks efficiently and safely. Without worker safety in mind, the potential benefits of an automated system are meaningless.
Customized Workcell: Three front tables and one rear table hold the drills and other equipment needed to turn square steel pipes into washroom parts. The process starts and ends at the rear table. A human worker loads the pipe onto the rear table. From the rear table, the Motoman UP50 robot arm moves the pipe to the first front table to be drilled by two drill heads. The pipe then moves to either the second or third front table to be drilled again by another set of drill heads. The robot arm then moves the pipe back to the rear table where pneumatic tooling inserts end caps into both ends of the pipe.
Motoman Robot Arm: The Motoman UP50 robot arm used in this system features a 50 kilogram payload capacity, a 2,046 millimeter horizontal reach, and a 0.07 millimeter repeatability. All of these specifications exceed project requirements. The precise repeatability further ensures that holes drilled are drilled exactly where they need to be.
Pneumatic Tooling: RobotWorx' engineers designed and integrated pneumatic tooling and clamps on the tables to hold the steel pipes in place while being drilled or capped. The tooling runs on the robot arm's XRC controller.
Safety: Two walls of fencing, one door with an interlock, and other safety features help keep workers out of harm's way.
RobotWorx Extras: Three days of training on the robotic system were provided for free, as well as a two-year warranty. Every RobotWorx system comes with free training and a warranty to cover any part failures.