Automated tool hook assembly and weld SPM

The Brief/Challenge

Bott asked us to design and manufacture a special purpose machine that would automatically assemble, weld and bend a finished tool hook in a 3 second time frame further more the machine needed to be able to make over 15 variations of the part with 5 rod lengths and 3 back plate styles with minimal change over between parts.

Our Work

Our solution consisted of splitting the machine down into its individual processes: pin sorting and loading, plate loading, measuring, welding, bending, cooling and ejecting. These stations were all developed in isolation before being coupled with a jig system to convey the components through the entire process. In order to meet the tight production time constraints all stations had to perform their tasks simultaneously.

This required a true mechatronic integration of pneumatic, hydraulic and electric actuators. The machine has 20 pneumatic cylinders, 2 hydraulic cylinders, 5 variable speed motors and 3 servo axes all synchronised to millisecond accuracy using Sharp and Tappin’s bespoke designed control system.

The Results

The completed machine delivered all the requirements and has been in use continuously for last 3 years producing well over 1 million parts to date while and saving a significant yearly manufacturing cost and increasing production capability.

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