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July 2019

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Mobile Robot System Brings Flexibility to Connector Assembly Line

Stäubli Electrical Connectors is taking advantage of the flexibility that mobile robot assistants bring to the assembly line.

Stäubli Electrical Connectors is a manufacturer of electrical connectors for all industrial sectors. The Swiss-based company favors hybrid assembly systems that combine fully automated and manual workstations. The only downside to this strategy is that the line comes to a standstill if an operator is absent due to illness. In addition, unmanned night shifts are not possible.

The company now has a solution: HelMo mobile robot system from Stäubli Robotics. HelMo is capable of navigating with complete autonomy by permanently monitoring its environment with three integrated laser scanners and can perform its tasks either fully automatically or in collaboration with humans. Once trained, HelMo can handle almost any manual job on a variety of assembly lines. This production assistant navigates to its own workplace, decelerates or stops when human colleagues come too close and then continues its process. Built around a 6-axis standard TX2-90L robot with a payload of 15 kilos and a reach of 1,200 mm, HelMo comes with a safety package that meets the strict requirements of category SIL3/PLe.

As soon as HelMo arrives at its workplace, it spends a few minutes prepping itself for the task at hand. The robot positions itself precisely within a tenth of a millimeter by referencing three permanent orientation points at the workstation. HelMo then connects itself to the fixed supply sockets for electricity and compressed air by means of a multi-coupling-also from Stäubli-and starts its shift. To enable HelMo to operate flexibly, its designers equipped it with an automatic tool change system from Stäubli Connectors. So, today it could be the placement of connector housings and contact pins, whereas tomorrow it might be some other stage in the assembly process. In the factory, HelMo is regarded less as a robot and more as an assistant that is flexible enough to help out where needed.

"The intention is not to replace human labor with mobile robots, but rather to deploy HelMo as a flexible stand-in and thereby increase the availability of hybrid assembly lines or cope with peak demand," said a Stäubli Corporation spokesperson. "Illness-related or other unforeseen absences among the human workforce are no longer a cause for concern. Because of HelMo, the delivery capability of the company has been significantly optimized."

For more information contact:

Stäubli Corporation

201 Parkway West

Hillside Park

P.O. Box 189

Duncan, SC 29334


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