Southeast

Large Casting Machining Company

Featured Equipment:  
Machine Type / Process:  Mill Turn Centers, Robotic Automation
Industry:  Military
Challenge

The customer required an automated manufacturing cell with all machining, inspection, and test stations to be loaded and unloaded robotically. Custom, stackable transportation pallets needed to be used in multiple inputs, outputs, and holding stations with robotic movement of the empty pallets during the process. The cell needed to fit within a relatively small area and be adaptable for several sizes and configurations. The control logic and sequencing instructions needed to be more flexible in order to accommodate various test sampling rates and operator availability.

Assessment

The customer’s existing automated, robotic manufacturing cell for a smaller product requires additional floor space, machine tools, and work stations, which involves more operators. Custom transportation pallets are used for input and output but are not stacked within the cell and are not handled by the robot at any time. Storage of partially completed product within the cell during the manufacturing process is very limited, thus requiring a full-time operator to maintain the maximum production rate.

Solution

The experienced engineering team of Ellison Technologies designed and integrated a solution that included inbound part racks, a vision system, a FANUC Robotics M-2000iA/1200 robot with additional options, a proven safety system, as well as a series of other key components. This machining cell consists of a multi-axis mill turn machine tool with highly customized work holding that virtually requires the precision material handling capability of the FANUC Robotics M2000iA/1200 to make the unloading and loading process efficient. Other features of the cell include: Magnaflux inspection for cast cracks, assembly of part lifting devices and testing the integrity of the same and complete part inspection on a random basis with a CMM. All transfers of the 2000 pound cast part are handled by the FANUC Robotics M2000iA/1200 robot.    

End Result

Capable of processing one casting every 40 minutes, the automation cell improved efficiency for the customer. The FANUC Robotics M-2000iA/1200 robot has the payload necessary for their operation. The challenge was solved by maximizing power and speed while keeping the automation cell in a confined space.

Before:

Inefficient
Labor intensive 
Constrained by space

 
After:

Highly efficient and productive
Standardized and organized workspace
• Maximized output in minimal space
Reduced labor requirements