Automated Assembly System - Midwest Engineered Systems

The Challenge

A firm that specializes in injection molding and prototyping came to Midwest Engineered Systems looking for a fully automated assembly system.  The final system had to be a completely automated system that moved un-assembled parts through three assembly operations:

  • Spin weld injection-molded port to the water outlet body
  • Install multiple brass compression limiters in the water outlet base
  • Perform leak testing of the completed assembly

The system must also include capacity for future additions, and a cycle time of 35 seconds or less part to part.

Automated assembly cell Animation

The Solution

After a full evaluation of the project’s challenges and goals, MWES provided the customer with a complete solution, that included:

  • Robotic Dunnage Unload: The material handling robot uses a 2D machine vision system to roughly locate the part in dunnage and pick the part from dunnage. The robot places the part in a re-grip stand where the robot then precisely re-grips the next part for the next operation.
  • Spin Welding Station: Robotic automation moves the part to the spin welder to weld the port onto the assembly.
  • Pallet Load Station: Material Handling Robot then loads spun welded part onto a pallet conveyor system. The pallet containing the part is lowered and released into the automated assembly and inspection system.
  • Compression Limiter Install Station: Pallet is raised and locked into position. Limiters are blow-fed to a gantry robot gripper. The limiter is then pressed into position. During this manufacturing process, a total of 4 limiters are installed. The pallet is then unlocked from the assembly station, lowered onto the conveyor, and released.
  • Leak Test and Marking Station: First, the pallet is raised and locked into position. All necessary ports are automatically plugged and the part is subjected to pressure testing for leaks. The laser will mark part with a date code for good assemblies. The pallet is unlocked, lowered onto the conveyor, and released.
  • Vision Camera System: The pallet is raised and locked into position. The 2D vision system inspects the part for correct assembly. The machine vision inspection system also checks for gross material defects, as well. The pallet is unlocked, lowered onto the conveyor, and released.
  • Unload Station: Pallet is raised and locked into position. The robot will unload the assembled part from the pallet conveyor system and place good parts into the outgoing dunnage. Parts that fail the leak test or vision inspection are loaded into a reject chute for disposition by an operator.

Impact to the Customer

The final assembly automation system provided the customer with the following benefits:

  • The automated system offers higher quality production through integrated vision inspection systems
  • The MWES manufacturing automation system has built-in flexibility for future expansion
  • Robotic automation offers the ability to achieve a virtual “lights out” manufacturing operation

Midwest Engineered Systems has a wide range of experience in building automated assembly systems. If you’re looking to improve your assembly throughput, we have the knowledge and experience to make the project a success.

Contact us to learn about how Midwest Engineered Systems can automate even your most complex and challenging operations today!