IEF Werner > Toothed belt axis for a compact pick and place system

Germany, Furtwangen – Fully automated pick and place system with high cycle times

 

 

Fast system for a compact unit realised

A producer relies on a fully automated pick & place plant by IEF-Werner in order to remove drills of different sizes with only a few millimetres of shaft diameter quickly and precisely, supply them to a marking laser and subsequently place them in a work piece carrier. The automation specialist installed amongst others, a linear axis of the series 160/15 G for the positioning system. This toothed belt axis is equipped with two independently moveable slides. This is how not only a fast but also compact unit may be realised, as for both gripper units only one axis is needed.

 

 

Thomas Hettich, product manager at IEF-Werner GmbH in Furtwangen. “We were able to fully fulfil the client’s demands with the realisation of this plant.”

Thomas Hettich, product manager at IEF-Werner GmbH in Furtwangen. “We were able to fully fulfil the client’s demands with the realisation of this plant.”

Marking components very quickly with the laser system

Laser marking has several advantages compared to other marking procedures – for example, the consumption costs are less and maintenance expenses lower. However, most of all, it is a possibility to mark components of different materials very quickly. “In order to use this time advantage in high quantities, the work pieces have to be supplied to the laser correspondingly quickly”, Thomas Hettich, product manager at IEF-Werner from Furtwangen in the Black Forest, says. Hereby he addresses a project, when a tool producer approached the automation specialist exactly with these demands. The task: drilling tools with a shaft diameter of 3.5 to 25 millimetre made of high speed steel HSS-E and solid carbide are to be removed from the clients’ work piece carrier one after the other, supplied to a marking laser and subsequently put back into a work piece carrier – and all this fast and precisely. “The laser marks work pieces with a shaft diameter of less than six and over 16 millimetre unilaterally, the sizes in between that bilaterally”, Hettich explains. The complete handling was to be realised automatically.

 

 

 

The reliable, flexible and precise modular system posyART contains many standard components, by the help of which almost any tasks in transfer, assembly and logistics can be solved.

The reliable, flexible and precise modular system posyART contains many standard components, by the help of which almost any tasks in transfer, assembly and logistics can be solved.

Supplying components efficiently

The basis of the pick & place plant is formed by the expandable transport system posyART. The reliable, flexible and precise modular design contains many standard components, which can solve almost any task in transfer, assembly and logistics. The main components as belt, drives, turnout or stop elements are very long-lasting. The dovetail geometry at the longitudinal side of the profiles allows a sensitive, continuous positioning of the attached modules. “We equipped the system with intakes, which are able to carry the clients’ work piece carrier (WC)”, Hettich says. Lateral positioning, centring station as well as a stroke and turning unit, puts the WC in the right position. Inside the centring unit, they are positioned centrally and subsequently fixated three dimensional with a precision accuracy of +/- 0.05 millimetres. The stoppers are positioned centrally. That prevents tilting of the work piece carrier in the guide rails. The tool producer equipped the WC with a data matrix code for this usage. In this code, information about the tool carrier type, the number and the X/Y coordinates of the wholes, the shaft diameter and the carrier height is found.
A staff member at the plant puts the WC with the drills on a basic carrier of the transport system.

 

 

 

All start from the order at the control panel

“It is absolutely necessary that the work piece carriers within one order are identically constructed”, Hettich emphasises. The staff member enters the order at the control panel, the number of WC – and if the drills to be marked contain a clamping surface or not. When starting the plant, the system initially reads the marking data for the laser. A scanner recognizes the data matrix code and the transport system moves the WC to the abstraction station. There the WC is removed from the belt and centrally positioned. The linear unit moves in y-direction at the grid of the according tool carrier type. The linear unit positions the WC, so that a laser measuring system captures the first line of the tool carrier. A distance measuring recognizes in which grid position the tool is set, which is currently to be worked on. The sensor passes the position to the control.

 

 

 

Precise and quick handling

Different cycle times are pre-set for the different drills, depending on the marking times. “The entire process should be for tools made of HSS-E seven seconds for unilateral and 14 seconds for bilateral marking”, Hettich explains. “For the tools made of VHM it is four and eight seconds.” In order to realise the corresponding handling technique, the IEF-engineers construct a positioning system made of standardised linear units. A wide product range of fully developed automation components is therefore available for the engineers, by the help of which they are able to design the process very effectively. Different linear axes are available, which can be chosen depending on the demands on dynamics, precision, repeat accuracy or speed. “We quickly constructed a cost-effective and suitable positioning system, tailored exactly to the task and available space at the user’s site, with our linear axis systems and the standardized connection elements”, Hettich emphasises. As the overall length as well as the drive system of the linear unit, on which both gripper units are moved, were amongst others of central importance when realising this plant.

 

 

 

The variant “G” is characterized by two toothed belt axes with two independently moveable slides.

The variant “G” is characterized by two toothed belt axes with two independently moveable slides.

Saving space: two slides on one axis

Hereby the module 160/15 G is used because of the framework conditions. The variant “G” is characterised by being equipped with a toothed belt with two independently moveable slides. Hereby the separated toothed belts are driven by autonomous motors. This saves significant assembly space. “In order to reach the demanded cycle time, two linear units would have to be installed next to each other. Through this innovative drive concept only one unit is enough”, Hettich says. The module 160/15 G is positioned so that one gripper unit is installed on one slide each. This result is a substantial reducing of the required assembly space. “This is how we move the parts very quickly to the actual task, the laser marking”, Hettich explains.

The toothed belt drive of type module 68 for the Y movements

This happens as follows: the first gripper moves to the removal position, picks up the corresponding drilling tool of the WC and hands it over to the laser station. After only a few seconds, the drill is marked. While the first gripper is on his way for the next drill, the second gripper picks up the marked tool and moves it to the empty WC at the opposite direction of the removal station. Both grippers are assembled onto a precise linear adjusting unit with toothed belt drive of type module 68 for the Y-movements. Because the first gripper has to turn the part by 180 degrees during the bilateral marking, an additional unit of type module 68 D comes into use. This is equipped with a turning axis, realised as a hollow shaft. Thereby the torque of the motor is transmitted via a belt drive to the turning axis. The turning angle is about 440 degrees – while maintaining maximum repeat accuracy. The component is light and especially compact. Additionally possible pneumatic hose and control cables can be integrated into the hollow shaft – which saves even more space.

 

 

Delivered the complete system with high cycle times

This turning is not only important for the bilateral marking. “If the standard tools contain clamping surfaces, the plant recognizes it and determines their position”, Hettich explains. The first gripper turns the drill on the way to the laser station, so that the marking put on in the required angle position according to the surface.
IEF-Werner delivers the complete system. Not only the linear and the adjustment units belong to the scope of delivery, also the energy supply, motors, cabling and hoses. “We could fully fulfil the demands of the client with the realisation of this plant”, IEF-product manager Hettich is content. It is not only constructed compactly but also reaches very high cycle times. The laser is in use practically non-stop.

 

 

More info about:
http://www.ief-werner.de/en

 

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