Robotic Brake Press Tending System - Midwest Engineered Systems

The Challenge

Operating a brake press machine can be extremely labor-intensive and may require multiple workers to run if the materials are large and extremely heavy.  A firm came to MWES looking to robotically automate the process of fabricating a wide range of parts from steel sheets with a brake press machine.  The weight of the parts would range from 15 lbs. to 277 lbs. and each one would multiple bends to create the final part.

The Solution

MWES designed and build a brake press machine tending cell that required only a single operator to run.  The cell would use a single ABB IRB 6650S 6-axis robot that would operate on an ABB Track System that runs 10 meters in length.  The robot would tend a Bystronics Brake Xpert 250/4100 brake press machine, and the robot would also utilize squaring and regrip stations.  While the robot is stopped in its home position between production cycles, the operator would be allowed to safely load a pallet of steel sheets into the infeed station, and also be allowed to remove any completed parts from the outfeed station.  To start the cycle, the operator would simply select the part being run via the robot teach pendant.

The whole operation would begin when the operator first loads a pallet of material into the infeed station.  Once the operator has exited the cell, the light curtain is reset, and the operator can then choose to resume the current part production or select a different part to be produced from the robot teach pendant.  Based on the part being fabricated, the robot will automatically switch out its EOAT attachment for a different tool from the tool rack if required.  The robot begins by picking the part off the pallet in the infeed station and placing it in the squaring station.  After the part has been squared up, the robot moves the part to the brake press machine where it performs the first bend on it.  Depending on the part the robot may make multiple bends or it will move the part to the regrip station.  The sequence is repeated until all the bends to the part are complete.

Once the brake press operation is complete the robot transfers the part to the outfeed station, where the part is placed on an open pallet.  After the robot has completed its current production cycle, the operator can request entry into the work cell.  This action resets the robot back to its home position and allows the door to the outfeed station to be opened.  The operator is free to remove the pallets with the completed parts from the outfeed station and place a new pallet of material in the infeed station if necessary.

Impact to the Customer

Robotically automating the brake press machine tending process, a process that once would require two or more workers to operate, brought about greater throughput and a return-on-investment for this firm.  MWES provided this firm with a robot machine tending work cell that requires minimal labor and a single operator to run from start to finish.

Midwest Engineered Systems has a wide range of experience in building robotic brake press machine tending. If you’re looking to improve your machine tending 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!

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