Robot Failure

Problem

 

The customer approached Lenoch Engineering following downtime in the event of a robot failure.

The robot was responsible for loading and unloading sill bars onto a production line, ensuring the correct sequence was maintained for manufacturing. This production line in particular was located on a mezzanine with limited space for expansion and lifting equipment.

There was no safe or sustainable redundancy procedure in place, with the existing emergency procedure involving lifting 50kg sill bars on and off the conveyor line manually, in order to keep sequence. This required two maintenance personnel to perform this task while the robot fault was cleared.

Scope

Lenoch Engineering was tasked with providing an automated solution to allow sill bars to be sequenced on a 24/7 production line in the event of a robot failure. The sill bars moreover required a storage solution to ensure the manufacturing sequence was maintained.

We were further required to provide an ergonomic way for the operator to load and unload sill bars onto the production line in the event of robot failure, as well as to modify the existing production line to incorporate the new emergency procedure.

Solution

 

Lenoch Engineering provided the following solutions:

 

  • We performed a 3D scan of the area, in order to create a 3D CAD file for design and project risk reduction; the 3D scan further informed the customer regarding strengthening the mezzanine structure due to increased loadings
  • We designed, manufactured, installed, and commissioned a turntable into the existing production line for an unload station
  • We repositioned the existing conveyor, making room for the turntable whilst also providing a means to control the sequencing of the line when re-installed onto the new turntable
  • Added two additional electrical stops to control the sill bars prior to the turntable
  • We installed two additional RFID scanners on the unload station to read the sill bar’s serial number when loading and unloading, for purpose of the sequencing operation
  • Designed, manufactured, installed, and commissioned a bespoke pneumatic powered manipulator with custom tooling, allowing the sill bars to be loaded and unloaded with minimal fatigue on the operator; this solution requires only one operator
  • Finally, we provided a storage solution for eighteen sill bars