Robotics, Gosiger Automation, Grinders, Case Study
Gosiger Automation Cuts Cycle Time From 45 Minutes to Less Than 17
December 14, 2012
Gosiger Automation recently worked with a manufacturer of rotors used in air compressors that wanted to improve the productivity of its grinding operation. The company was also concerned with employee health and safety issues due to the heavy lifting required of their grinding machine operators.
Applications specialists from Gosiger Automation studied the operation and designed a new grinding cell that incorporated an Okuma GA-47 grinder with a FANUC robot equipped with a vision system and manually adjustable grippers. The Okuma grinder has a flexible, 2-axis configuration for greater versatility and handles parts up to 60” long, weighing as much as 660 lbs.
A specially designed chuck and manually adjustable grippers on the FANUC single arm robot enable the cell to accommodate a variety of part sizes weighing up to 420 pounds. An integrated gauging system uses a probe to determine when to automatically adjust the grinder during the operation to assure part accuracy and consistency.
The cell also includes a custom conveyor system that utilizes pallets of unfinished parts loaded onto the conveyor by a forklift, thus eliminating all of the heavy lifting previously performed by the machine operators. Another pallet receives the finished parts from the robot arm and, when completely loaded, is indexed out of the cell by the incoming pallet of unfinished parts. As a result, the cycle time for the operation is reduced by 62%, from the original time of 45 minutes to just 16.8 minutes. In addition to dramatically improving cycle time, one operator can now manage multiple cells, which greatly reduces labor costs-per-part.