Die Cast Robot Tending Automation - Midwest Engineered Systems

The Robot Automation Challenge

Midwest Engineered Systems Inc. provided a die cast robot tending automation machine for a hardware manufacturer.

Midwest Engineered Systems Inc. was asked to provide the customer with a FANUC robot to tend a new Frech Die Cast Machine. The factory automation system was also tasked with loading the cast part into a Trim Press. In addition, MWES had quoted additional automation and services to make a complete automation system. The challenge of this project was to achieve an 18 second part to part cycle time.


The Solution

After a full evaluation of the project’s challenges and goals, Midwest Engineered Systems, as an authorized Fanuc integrator was able to provide the customer with a complete solution, which included:

  • Fanuc Robot – This includes M710iC/50 Fanuc robotic arm with R-30iB Mate Controller, DCS Position & Speed Check, ASCII Program Loader, Soft Float, and PC Interface.
  • Robot Accessories – The equipment includes a robot EOAT with pneumatic gripper system, cable harness, and robot mounting base
  • Part Verification Stand– This includes a stand and sensor array for part presence after the extraction process has been completed.
  • Dunk Quench System – The equipment includes a welded stainless steel tank, heat exchanger, HP Pump, all necessary controls for the system, all necessary valves, and all necessary piping and filtering.
  • Cooling Conveyor, Scrap Conveyor, and Chutes – Integration of conveyors and chutes into the system.
  • Motorized Turntable – Integration of a turntable allowed parts to accumulate. This meant the Die-Cast and Robotic Part Extraction process could continue if the operator were to step away for a few minutes. In addition, the Turntable part accumulator allowed for an efficient use of floor space.
  • Safety Features – This includes black mesh safety guarding, safety interlock door access, RAG stack light and emergency stop button. The safety solution supplied met the requirements set forth by ANSI/RIA R15.06-2012.
  • Controls System – electrical enclosure, electrical panel, power transformers for 480VAC – 120VAC, over current protection, contactors, Allen-Bradley CompactLogix PLC w/Ethernet, Allen-Bradley Panelview Plus Compact 1000 machine interface, electrical control interface for all system I/O, conveyor motor starters or drives, wire way, terminal blocks, fusing, and safety system interface.

Impact to the Customer

The final Die Cast Fanuc Robot Tending Automation provided the customer with the following benefits:

  • Higher Quality

  • More Efficient/Quicker part to part cycle time (18 seconds or less)/Higher Throughput

  • Improved Operator Safety

  • Improved Error Recovery

  • Improved Equipment Maintainability

  • Improved Scrap Recovery (MWES Scrap Recover System fed scrap directing back to the furnace)

  • Lights out operation improved overall system OEE

  • Improved floor space utilization

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