Omron robot fits the mould

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When it needed to automate the assembly of a moulded plastic spigot, a leading automotive parts manufacturer asked industrial automation company Alphr Technology to devise a solution.

The Alphr team concluded that a solution based on an Omron Scara robot, used with a vision system and other automation products from Omron, would be the best way to meet these requirements.

A specialist in injection-moulded parts for the automotive industry, the customer had for some time been supplying injection-moulded spigots to a leading automobile manufacturer. In the past, assembly of the spigots had been a largely manual process.

The team from Alphr Technology proposed a machine with a rotary assembly station, which would produce one finished part every 20 seconds. Just one operator would be needed, loading the parts into the machine, with all other operations performed automatically – including inspection, testing and the delivery of the finished parts to pass and fail bins.

'Understandably, as this was the company’s first machine with a Scara robot, they kept a close eye on this project,' said Paul Bridgwater of Alphr Technology. 'I’m delighted to say that it went very smoothly. Programming the robot was straightforward and it worked straight out of the box, as did the vision system and all of the other key automation components supplied by Omron.'

The machine has now been working on site for several months. While, as planned, the rate of production of the new machine is not substantially different from that of the manual assembly line, the percentage of reject parts is greatly reduced, as the dependable robotic placement of the compression limiters and the 100 per cent inspection by the vision sensors make it virtually impossible for incorrectly assembled parts to go forward to the final testing stage.

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