Automated Knurling System 

Midwest Engineered Systems Inc. provided a valve plate knurling machine automated solution for a metal fine blanking company. This robotic integration is used to fully automate the knurling process for a high volume automotive industry application.

The Challenge

 

  • Machine automation system must be capable of being programmed for four (4) different part numbers

  • Must achieve and automated process speed of one (1) part every 2 seconds

  • The automated work cell must have a compact design to optimize floor space

  • The automated production system must be capable of flipping parts that are loaded up-side-down

  • It must have sensors to detect the radial orientation of a part on the in-feed conveyor to insure correct orientation in dial table nest

  • The system must be able to operate within the high pressure and high forces exerted by the knurling process

  • Built-in quality assurance throughout the knurling and handling process. The automation system must also detect defects on the top & bottom surfaces of the part, such as:

    • Missing features

    • Slug marks

    • Missing holes

    • Missing or additional material

  • The automated production system must have the ability to log part failure information to an operator interface including:

    • Part number

    • Defect type

    • Quantity of each type of defect

    • Time and date stamps

 

The Solution

After a full evaluation of the project’s challenges and goals, Midwest Engineered Systems designed and built the customer a complete solution, which included:

  • Heavy duty common base for simple install and portability

  • Fanuc LR Mate 200iD industrial robot and R-30iB robot controller with Fanuc 2D robotic vision camera for part orientation identification on in-feed pick-up locations and placement on dial process system

  • Robotic End of Arm Tool

    • Magnetic gripper

    • Sensors

  • In-feed Flip Station with two (2) position shuttle escapement

  • Two (2) TOX 30-ton, air over oil, presses

  • Twelve (12) position, servo driven, dial table

  • Three (3) position, servo driven, out-feed flip station

  • Out-feed conveyor

  • Four (4) camera PPT vision system

  • Control System

    • Electrical enclosure

    • Servo motor control system

    • PLC with EtherNet IP communication

    • Robot to PLC interface

    • Operator HMI display

    • Arc flash compliance

  • Safety system and enclosure with components, programming, and layout per ISO 13849-1:2006 Category 3 safety guidelines and ANSI/RIA R15.06-1999 specifications

  • Complete electrical and mechanical engineering design

  • Midwest engineered systems provided complete robot, vision, PLC, and HMI programming

  • Complete electrical and mechanical fabrication, assembly, and system test

  • On-site installation, start-up, and acceptance testing

  • Technical training be MWES for operators, engineering, and maintenance

 

​Impact to the Customer

 

The delivered automated knurling machine provided the customer with process improvements such as:

  • Increased productivity – machine can run 1800 parts/hour

  • Less tooling than previous machine for faster changeover between parts

  • Decreased maintenance – fewer moving parts to wear than previous machine & less tooling to maintain

  • Increased reliability and up-time – Mechanically driven, hard tooled, walking beam replaced with programmable 6-axis servo robot and two (2) programmable servo driven dial tables

  • Increased floor space – MWES Robotic solution requires 20% less floor space

  • Improved quality – Multiple sensors are able to detect failures and immediately notify the operator

  • Failure reporting – Automatic data logging and tracking of failures

For more information on this equipment or other web handling needs please contact MWES.

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Midwest Engineered Systems

W238N1800 Rockwood Drive
Waukesha, WI 53188
Call: 414-327-0000
Email: info@mwes.com

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877-219-7320

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