In the aluminium and magnesium casting company of Schweizer & Weichand, which is part of the Schweizer Group and located in Murrhardt in Germany's Swabian region, two robot stations for the production of diecast aluminium parts for the automotive industry have been extensively modernised in September 2012. Thereby, the focus was laid on both ABB Irb 4400 and ABB Irb 4600 handling robots, each of which have been equipped with an S100-4 swivel from the Swedish robot peripherals manufacturer rsp Robot System Products. During the rapid handling processes, the robot peripherals play an important role and have already proved their high reliability and effectiveness for more than 11 months. While the prior solution without a swivel required the hose and cable packages to be wound around the upper arm of the robot and costly production stops occurred several times every day, not a single failure has occurred up to now, thanks to the new swivel mounted on the robots. And all this at 1,500-1,800 cycles per day.
Robotised diecast aluminium plant with a built-in press
The Bühler Evolution 66 casting cell with an integrated WEKO C35 press is equipped with an Irb 4400 handling robot from ABB. This robot takes the diecast parts out of the diecasting mould, passes them on for a check for completeness, and then lays down the cast parts for cooling on the four cooling shelves. Then the robot takes a cooled shot and lays it down for deburring in the fine-trimming press. Due to the various operations, a freely swivelling sixth axis is indispensable. For this purpose, the rsp S100-4 swivel offers a perfect solution, which has proved its optimum effectiveness during the continuous operation under harsh conditions. Using the teach pendant, the motional sequences of the robot can be optimised for each type of element to be diecast.
The new series of swivels from rsp provides air supply and electrical signals, without limiting the motion capabilities of the robot. The user can spin the 6th axis free from hoses, cables or other obstacles. Low weight, high corrosion resistance and minimum maintenance service shorten the cycle times, enhance productivity and maximise uptime in any application involving substantial robot motion.
There are no limitations to axis 6 and, using rsp hose packages, neither are there any restrictions to the axes 4, 5 and 6. Air, electrical signals and the fieldbus from axis 6 are supplied to the tool. Thanks to the swivel, the dress-pack on the upper arm of the robot is not affected by the rotation of axis 6. With the previous solution without a swivel, the hose and cable package had to be twisted around the upper arm of the robot, and costly production stops occurred several times every day.
RSP's design of swivel units is based on the ISO standard for robot flanges. For the swivel unit to be able to function properly, an adaptation kit has to be included. RSP offers a wide range of adaptation kits for different robot brands.
The automation technician Frank Schütrumpf, responsible for Technology and Technical Education, appreciates the extremely high reliability and long life of the S100-4 swivels from rsp, used for protecting the hose package. The swivels need maintenance only about every 2 years, thereby enabling the dress-pack hose package to stay in operation for more than 5 years.
The technologist is very satisfied with the technical advice and service, the easy mounting, the high resistance to high temperatures, dirt and water emulsions as well as with the elimination of down-times and the maintenance-free hose package. Mr Schütrumpf estimates the productivity increase obtained with the swivels from rsp at almost 10 percent and the cost savings at more than 12,000 euros per year. If you would like to know more about rsp robot peripherals, please ask for our free catalogue and the latest application notes by ticking the reader service number.