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Case Study: Adaptive Robotic Material Removal Solution for an Enclosure Manufacturer

 

The Problem

An Enclosure Manufacturer contacted Acme with a problem: they had an operation in their enclosure manufacturing line where after the automated welding process a person manually had to grind the weld seam flush on the enclosure corners prior to painting.

Through a previous project, the customer knew that, Acme could figure out an innovative and robust solution to automate the manual grinding process. This time was a bit different, and more complex, the customer needed to finish one steel enclosure every 45 seconds without any operator involvement. Adding to the challenge, each enclosure in the manufacturing line could be a different size or shape! This variance could not impact the production rate or the quality of the product. 

The Solution

Acme’s team got to work! They partnered with the customers engineering team and familiarized themselves with the manufacturing process, brainstormed potential strategies, and ran simulations until they figured out the perfect solution.

Acme reviewed the end of arm tool options available on the market and selected PushCorp for their accuracy, responsiveness and durability. In collaboration with 3M’s Abrasives Division at the Customer Abrasive Methods Center (CAM Center) both companies worked together to engineer and install this four-robot adaptive grinding system. The system automatically polishes the corner welds of each incoming enclosure, regardless of size in a one-piece flow manner.

The system pre-measures the enclosure to be polished and passes the information to the robotic adaptive grinding system which loads a process recipe and develops the process path for the enclosure to be polished. All aspects of the process are accounted for including speed, force, gravity, and media life insuring a uniform and consistent finish.

Acme worked with and trained the customers production team on site and remained on site to ensure a smooth transition to this new adaptive grinding system technology. Now after using the new adaptive weld grinding system for a period of time, the enclosure manufacturer found that not only did they have improved part quality but their cost per piece had lowered significantly.

The addition of the adaptive weld grinding system also reduced labor cost, allowing the customer to distribute employees to other areas that aligned with their talents. Above all, it provided a very high level of process control.

Automated material removal solutions can enhance productivity, accommodate a volume increase, and improve the consistency for a variety of products, all while making production safer and more efficient. Contact Acme to discuss how our automated solutions can enhance your production process and let Acme help you with your automated material removal solution.

 

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