Robot Mills GFRP Tubs
Carefree Bathing is a supplier of bathroom equipment made of glass-fiber-reinforced plastics (GFRP), which is based in Coventry, Great Britain. The company has automated the stage of secondary finishing in bath tub production. Several tasks that used to be manual have been assumed by a cell with a six-axle robot (type: Motoman-UP50-35, manufacturer: Yaskawa Europe GmbH, Allershausen, Germany).
The bath tub’s essential component is a rigid steel frame based on particle boards, to prevent deformations and water leakage. In order to allocate the various types and sizes automatically, RobotSense in Leicester, Great Britain, wrote twelve computer programs. The tub itself is made of spray resin and chopped fibers approx. 6 mm thick, and has a special shape. After curing, the shell is submitted to finishing in a robot cell. Here, the six-axle robot performs 24 cycles to even and mill the GFRP materials. A milling unit with a high-speed spindle that sits on the robot’s hand simultaneously drills the holes for the jet spa system.
According to company information, cycle times are now 85 % shorter, if compared to manual finishing, which has thus eliminated bottlenecks in production. The robot additionally provides for constantly high qualities of the product, and this has reduced times and reject rates significantly.
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