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July 2018

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Automated Custom Heavy-Duty Multi-Axis Positioning Systems



LazerArc offers custom engineered heavy-duty automation solutions. The company uses a combination of zero backlash cam systems with low backlash gear heads to achieve high accuracy and repeatability on all systems. LazerArc positioning systems are not cataloged items, but rather customer-specified assemblies designed to fit an application. They are capable of fitting into automated robotic systems, and units can be adapted to a user-specific servomotor or robot brand to expand manufacturing capabilities.

"Most engineers, designers and automation integrators are looking for ways to automate production lines, especially for large parts," said a company spokesperson. "Automation increases production rates to help meet tight and demanding deadlines. It also provides customers with improved quality, consistency and production line safety."

"There are many applications where automation makes sense, especially for large parts," continued the spokesperson. Below are just a few areas where companies have found success."

Drilling and Fastening Operations

For aerospace, automotive and transportation (buses, trains, trucks) manufacturers, automating drilling and fastening applications has been successful. Typically, a larger robot is programmed to drill and/or fasten parts. The robot is then integrated with a linear robot transfer unit to move the robot down the large part while performing the drilling and fastening task.

By moving the robot and not the part, it provides the manufacturer with the ability to drill accurate holes and install fasteners with very little human intervention. Having the robot perform repetitive tasks also reduces long-term staff health issues, such as carpal tunnel and back injuries.

Welding

The advantage of using an automated welding robot is that it furnishes the manufacturer with consistent and high quality MIG and TIG welds. Many production lines now incorporate an automated multi-axis positioner that moves the part for the stationary welder, improving access to several sides of the part. Additional processes can be performed without having to move the part.

This integration of the robot and a positioner reduces scrap, provides access to hard to reach places, produces more parts per hour and reduces cost.

Assembly and Multiple Operations

Many manufacturers are automating assembly and/or multiple operations. Generally, for these applications, the manufacturer is moving the part down the production line. One operation or assembly operation will be performed on the part, and then it is moved down the line for additional operations.

Recently, one automotive manufacturer installed a lift and shift unit to its production line. The lift and shift brings the part to one section of the assembly line. It lowers the part to the correct level for the line worker or robot to perform the task, then lifts and transfers the part to the next operation.

Other manufacturers add seven multi-positioning or rotary units to a robot, which allows it to carry out multiple tasks at one time. Units such as these allow manufacturers to work with complex shapes with greater accuracy and repeatability.

Loading, Unloading and Palletizing

For loading, unloading and palletizing operations, most manufacturers use a combination of linear tool trays and robots to move large parts at the end of the production line. The benefits of switching these processes over to automation include increased speed and repeatability of parts production, and thus lowered overall cost.

Dangerous Processes

One of the biggest benefits of automation has been to potentially dangerous production processes, such as those found in foundries, die casting, painting and large part handling. Robots are able to: provide a stable and steady hand with melted metal; reduce worker exposure to harsh environmental atmospheres; and eliminate injuries related to large and heavy part handling.

For more information contact:

LazerArc

1204 East Maple

Troy, MI 48083

877-795-9692

info@lazerarc.com

www.lazerarc.com

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