cycle from cutting the initial blank on the blanking press to forming, folding and final assembly of the electrical components. Additional robots are planned to help tend the turret presses and press brakes. General Manager Rob Goldiez said, “We’re seeing about a 20% increase having a pace setter with the Universal Robots working hand in hand with our people.” The UR robots working the motor field line are a UR5 and a UR10 robot named after their payload in kilos. The robots all feature 0.1-mm repeatability and span in reach from 19.7 to 51.2" (500–1300 mm). The UR5 is placed at the end of the line right next to an

employee that hands the robot a motor field part. The UR5 picks up the part, puts it in a holder, picks up a wire cutter to trim the wires, and then places the part for the UR10 ro- bot to pick up and place on a conveyor for final assembly. “We can interlock multiple robots together and read

through Modbus the TCP connections and robot status. We can also pass information along to other software

structured text programming Cook usually had to code when working with traditional robots. “It was really easy to learn and it went much smoother than I anticipated. I would say it took a third to half of the implementation time out of it based on previous experi- ences I’ve had,” Cook said. As SFEG looked for tasks to automate, eliminating mo-

notonous and potentially dangerous tasks was the number one priority. Another task now handled by the mobile UR robot fleet is filling epoxy into circuit boards. In the past, employees would make up a big batch

of circuit boards and would stand there and manually fill them with two-part epoxy and send them down the curing line. Today, the robot does that all day long and enables a one-piece flow. Safety hazards are now avoid- ed on the motor field line by having a UR robot handle the wire cutting. “It’s a potential carpal tunnel syndrome application cutting about 16,000 wires a day by hand,” Goldiez said.

“Thelma & Louise”

UR5 and UR10 robots move motor field parts through a wire cutting application and onto a packaging conveyor for final assembly working in tandem with their SFEG human colleagues.

packages, and collect data. It opens up a lot of doors to do a lot of things we’re just now beginning to look at,” said principal engineer Jamie Cook. A UR robot comes with a touch screen pendant that

all programming is done through. Directing the robot arm can be done either through arrow keys on the screen, or by simply grabbing the robot arm and “teaching” it the desired moves between waypoints. That eliminated the


“So we thought that was a great place to put robots—let them get carpal tunnel!” “We’re seeing about 1-to-1 movement of people from

where we put in a robot that allows us to move a person to another area of the business. We have 14 robots from Universal Robots right now, and as we have all those implemented we expect to be able to reposition 14 em- ployees,” he said.

Summer 2016

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