Sumo processing system offers big benefits thanks to Yaskawa robot

A new robotic handling system based on the MOTOMAN GP7 robot from Yaskawa has proved to be very successful on an automatic grinding machine for a major German pump manufacturer which specialises in supplying customised pumps for automotive engineering applications.

At the heart of the automated system is a MOTOMAN GP7, one of the most successful robots developed by motion control and robotics specialist Yaskawa. The GP7 is an agile and compact universal robot with a 7kg payload, up to 927mm reach a repeatability of ±0.01mm.

Scherzinger Pumpen was looking for a suitable automation solutions partner to help them achieve their aim of gradually increasing the level of automation in their production processes. EGS Automation, located close by in the Black Forest, offered the necessary expertise with a portfolio of robotic based automated systems dating back to 1999, involving the installation of over 2,000 robots.

For this automated processing application the EGS SUMO series was ideally suited to meet the requirements, specifically the SUMO Multiplex a 12-fold production system based on the ‘paternoster principle’ – proved to be the best option.

Component handling is performed by the compact, 6-axis jointed-arm MOTOMAN GP7 robot which is attached to the system, delivering a fast travel speed and high accuracy to ensure rapid, reliable and accurate part changes in the processing machine. The system incorporates an innovative side-shifting device which allows the entire unit to be shifted on its side in seconds, giving full access to the grinder. The system can also be quickly pushed back in front of the machine and precisely indexed so that it can swiftly resume automatic operation.

Workpieces are loaded and clamped into the machine with typical machining times achieved between 3 and 5 minutes. The components are then stacked on universal pallets which are adapted for the respective workpieces by means of component-specific plastic clips.

Thanks to the large storage capacity of the SUMO machine an automated runtime over one to several shifts, in some cases over an entire weekend, is achieved without the need for human intervention, depending on the component.

The robot is equipped with a double gripper tool which has jaws specifically designed for the workpiece portfolio to ensure the maximum number of shafts can be loaded onto the pallets. The robot picks them up from the pallet at one end of the shaft, places them into a gripping station then picks them up again before placing them in the machine for clamping. During unloading, the workpieces return to the pallet in the opposite direction.

The ultra-compact design of the GP7 robot enables it to be positioned closer to machines and fixtures - helping to save valuable floor space. They also feature a parallel-link construction for strength, rigidity and stabilisation of high inertia loads, along with heavy-duty bearings which ensure a smooth arm rotation.

In addition to their ability of handling heavier loads, these new models also offer the benefits associated with MOTOMAN robots, such as optimum productivity with high payloads and speeds. They also allow for a wide variety of products to be transferred with different grippers to ensure greater allowable movement. Speeds of all axes have been increased, whilst acceleration / deceleration control has been improved to achieve maximum reduction of acceleration / deceleration time for all robot postures.


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