Robot cell increases productivity in pneumatic valve assembly

When CME was approached to develop a fully automated solution for pneumatic valve assembly, a six-axis robot is at the heart of the innovative system.

The robot performs a series of different pick and place, orientation, transfer, and assembly operations in combination with several dedicated workstations and peripheral technologies, increasing output and productivity, automatically assembling six hundred parts in an 8-hour shift.

This application requires the assembly of a pneumatic valve body which comprises of a number of individual component parts. These include the body itself, a coil, circlip, a label and adhesive. The parts will be collected by the robot from a series of magazine drawer systems which are used to both present the individual parts and store the fully assembled items.

Historically the assembly of these valve bodies was performed manually, with an operator requiring 90 seconds to complete the various tasks for a single valve assembly. There were several objectives targeted as part of the transition from manual to fully automated assembly. These included eliminating repetitive manual tasks, reducing the time needed for assembly and subsequently increasing productivity whilst reducing manufacturing costs. The automation of the different assembly operations also makes it possible to introduce additional quality checks which improve quality and yield.

The system is manually primed with the various component parts needed to complete the assembly process. Six cabinets, each holding 100 components are positioned around the rear of the robotic cell. Three of these are loaded with trays containing valve bodies and the remaining three with trays containing coils. As part of the assembly process, the robot is also used to open and close the drawer magazine systems to collect and replace parts.

The robot initially collects a coil which is then checked by a vision system to determine the orientation of the cables on the coil. The coil is then re-orientated and located in a jig by a separate unit ready for assembly. Meanwhile the robot has collected an outer body component which is moved and rotated 90 degrees by the robot, before being positioned under a labelling system which dispenses and attaches a sticker over a threaded hole on the part.

The body is then lowered into a jig to begin the assembly operations, before the robot collects the coil, orientating it using the data obtained by the vision system. This positions the cables at the correct angle for further processing at a later stage. The coil is then partially lowered into the outer body and released by the robot, with the final assembly into the body controlled by a separate mechanism.

The robot then collects a circlip which is placed to a jig ready for assembly, before performing a tool change operation. This allows the robot to press the circlip into position. The final operation is the automated dispensing of adhesive in two locations to secure the circlip within the assembly. The robot then removes the finished part and transfers it back to the magazine drawer system.

The cycle repeats with the outer body components in the drawers being replaced with assembled valves until the drawer is full, closed and a new drawer is opened. Cell capacity is three hundred assemblies before it is required to be re-primed with fresh components. Total run-time to empty, without stoppages, is approximately 4 hours with an average cycle time of 48 seconds. This cycle time represents a saving of over 45% on the original manual cycle time of 90 seconds. The system achieves all of the initial objectives, and a further benefit is the fact that the system is capable of being re-tooled to produce other part variants in future.

Colin Mear Engineering Ltd

Combe Wood
Combe St Nicholas
Chard
TA20 3NL
UNITED KINGDOM

+44 (0) 1460 269500

CME@CME-ltd.com

www.CME-ltd.com

More news
Atlas Copco saves precision sheet metal manufacturer over £6,000 a month
When Constant Group, a Manchester-based supplier of sheet metal parts, components, and fully assembled fabrications pieces were let down by their previous service provider for onsite high-pressure nitrogen generation, they turned to Atlas Copco for help.
The future of medical wearables by smart bonding solutions
With bonding to skin being particularly challenging, Lohmann is hosting a webinar focusing on bonding solutions for wearables applications on June 29 at 8:45 am.
Timber plant reduces downtime with NSK linear guides
Thanks to the adoption of NSK’s linear guides with K1 lubrication units, a timber manufacturer managed to reduce conveyor downtime by a factor of more than 12, prompting annual cost savings of more than €77,000.
Renishaw announces investment of over £50 million for UK site
Renishaw is to invest over £50 million at its Miskin site in South Wales to increase manufacturing capacity and to help meet its Net Zero emissions targets.
Manufacturing and Engineering Week opens its doors to innovation
The very first Manufacturing & Engineering Week got off to a flying start at Birmingham’s NEC with 5221 visitors attending over the two-day live event to celebrate the very best of British innovation, creativity and best practice.
HepcoMotion apprentice raises awareness of disabilities
First year manufacturing Apprentice Sky-Elouise Hopkins is keen to raise awareness of having a disability and being an apprentice.
Reliance achieves world first machining success
Reliance Precision Manufacturing has achieved what it believes is a world first – the machining of geared components from a bulk metallic glass (BMG) alloy especially selected and synthesised for space applications.
Yamaha demonstrates the power of robot teamwork
Automatica 2022 saw Yamaha Motor Robotics FA Section demonstrating industrial robots working together autonomously to raise productivity and reduce waste.
Telsonic UK doubles floorspace to meet demand
Despite the numerous challenges which have been present over recent times, brought on by a combination of the pandemic and the changing business landscape, Telsonic UK has not only weathered the storm but has doubled the size of its Poole facility to meet increasing demand for its ultrasonic modules, systems, and ultrasonic automated solutions.
Delta helps packaging manufacturer centralise control of facility
As a result of expansion, a manufacturer of plastic bags for food packaging that operates a factory in Poland decided it had too many machines to continue monitoring and controlling them individually. It turned to Delta for a solution for centralised control and management.

Login / Sign up