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Case Study – RNA Vision Guided Robotics

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RNA were contracted to design and manufacture an automated press loading system for a range of copper plumbing fittings.

The system incorporated a bowl feeder, vision guided robot and control system to accumulate and load fittings into a hydro-form press. The project was for a global leader in the plumbing fittings industry that manufactured a diverse wide range of fittings often with short batch runs and short lead times.

The challenge

Vision Guided Robotics

– Provide a flexible system that can load various fittings (3 sizes and 21 types) into a hydro-form press.

– The overall cycle time, loading and unloading were greatly dependant on the forming process time giving a short window for automatic handling

– Provide quick and easy changeover between part runs.

– Limited space & access between the open press tooling

The solution

The components were presented to the robot by an RNA bowl feeder that fed parts onto a pick conveyor mounted below a Robot Vision System. The robot utilized two elements of tooling: Part one included a single vacuum cup that picked single parts from the pick conveyor and placed them into a multi cavity nest.

The 2nd part of the tooling was a multi cavity nest fitted with an umbilical tool changer designed for quick changeover. The unit was also designed for multiple configurations of nests and different component sizes and shapes.

The part nest design was mirrored on both sides and fitted with vacuum cups to hold the product in place. During the robots 1st pass into the cell formed fittings are picked from the press tooling and dropped onto an outfeed conveyor out of the cell. The robot rotates the nest 180 degrees re enters the press and places the raw parts into the empty tooling cavities. The cycle repeats.

The system was supplied with ASI network control system, full perimeter guarding, CE marked, integrated and commissioned onsite with the hydro-forming system.


Link: RNA Robotic Systems

Link: Industry: Electronics

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    RNA Automation Ltd

    Hayward Industrial Park, Tameside Drive Castle Bromwich Birmingham, UK, B35 7BT

    T:  +44 (0)121 749 2566


    Fax:  +44 (0)121 749 6217

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