Norbar Torque Tools Ltd has upgraded its welding facility with a new robotic welding cell engineered by Cyber-weld Ltd. Providing Norbar with increased capacity, quality improvements and at the same time taking up less space, the new system is based around a FANUC ARC Mate robot.
Using robotic welding approaches is not new to Norbar; a welding cell with limited capabilities had been in use for many years and had come to the end of its effective supportable days. Norbar’s production engineering team were specific in that they needed to speed up the welding process for its globally renowned Industrial Torque Wrench range. John Hooley, Production Engineer, Norbar, explains: “Providing calibration support across four continents, a continuous new product development programme and strong customer loyalty for Norbar torque products is driving our growth. Recent investment in a new facility provided the opportunity to upgrade our welding process.
“The existing system had reached a stage of spares obsolescence and by its design made tool changing, maintenance and any level of equipment access difficult and time consuming. The welding process produced a lot of spatter which required a lengthy linishing operation.”
Cyber-weld, a strategic partner of FANUC for welding applications, was selected to engineer and supply the replacement system. Designing what is essentially a ‘plug-and-weld’ robot cell comprising a FANUC ARC Mate six axes welding robot, an integrated MIG welding power source, turntable and fume extraction, the complete system was delivered as one complete product and fork-lifted into position.
Requiring only power and gas supplies, the system was available for pre-production trials and commissioning within hours of its delivery. John comments: “Cyber-welds in-depth knowledge of both the welding process and robotics made the process very straightforward; we were able to carry out trials before delivery and quickly realised the increased flexibility we had with the efficient integration of the welding package into the FANUC robot control system.
“The reduction of spatter has virtually eliminated the need for linishing after welding. Added to this the high welding-speed of the FANUC and being able to multi load components while welding continues, the Cyber-weld system has helped us to reduce a typical batch weld time from 4.5 hours to 2.5 hours.”
Fixtures were designed and manufactured in-house by Norbar and quick-release post mounts with pin locking ensures fast tool changeovers. The weld cell has been designed to allow ease of access to all areas without compromising available space. Effectively the cell’s walls and ceiling form a box or room that neatly self-contains all equipment. The turn-table is manually rotated in front of the robot to present parts for welding and to unload welded components.
John concludes: “The success of the system, its transition and minimal disruption to production is down to the preparation we carried out with Cyber-weld. It became clear early on in our discussions that the Cyber-weld Team are passionate about robotics and welding with an in-depth knowledge to carry it all through.”
To learn more about the FANUC ARC Mate robot please go to www.fanuc.eu.