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08-21-2012

Robots Build Robots

Automation in the Industrial Production Environment

Robots Build Robots

For the first time at the Automatica, Kuka Systems GmbH, Augsburg, Germany, demonstrated a manufacturing cell in which two lightweight robots (type: LBR) perform the manual assembly on a KR Quantec industrial robot. Thanks to a number of technical features, the LBR, can work like a human arm claims the manufacturer. Thanks to its integrated tactile sensors, it has the ability to “feel” and can therefore carry out all the production steps – from the component preparation through the actual assembly process right up to the inspection of the assembly. The two lightweight robots perform the complete handling of the production and proprietary parts and all the joining processes. For assembly operations where the LBR cannot comply with the demanded process parameters alone, such as for the joining force, an NC press is employed. The production parts are fed in by a pallet chute (type: Kuka CycleMove) with automatic pallet return.

The proprietary parts, e.g. bearings, circlips and o-rings, are fed into the manufacturing cell from change magazines. The magazines are specially designed for the respective geometry of the parts in order to ensure automated selection and removal by the two lightweight robots. Apart from this function, the robots follow pressing operations, apply circlips or o-rings under resilience control, position components and carry out a position and presence check. According to Kuka, the user-friendly system is very flexible and can be easily modified for other components. Similar systems for which the Advanced Technology Solutions division of Kuka Systems concentrates on lightweight robots, human-robot collaboration and small robotics are employed for the flexible assembly of sub-components through to final production i.a. in the automotive industry.

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