Intelligent automation beats manual installation in low-income countries
Hauff-Technik GmbH & Co. KG is one the leading manufacturers of sealing systems for cable, duct and leadthrough bushings. The easy assembly of sealing members is actually ideal for deft hands in the Far East because the job mainly consists in screwing stainless steel punched bending parts loosely on a moulded rubber part. Factors like small batch sizes in many variants also speak in favour of manual assembly in low-income countries.To produce at low cost while yet ensuring the high quality of the Hauff products “made in Germany”, the company decided to automate the design of its assembly line.
SolutionWith the highly flexible automation solution with a clever stocking system, through consistent utilisation of robots and through multifunctional workpiece carriers, small batch sizes can also be assembled economically.
All components, including the core components moulded rubber parts and punched bending parts as well as all supply parts like screws, nuts, and washers, etc. are stored in a large number of magazines and containers that are either directly docked to the plant or arranged in clustered modules alongside the plant. Epson SCARA robots are deployed at all stations of the assembly line.
Station 1: At the first station, the Epson SCARA G10 with an 850 mm operating range takes out the right punched bending parts from the magazines and put them in the right position on the workpiece carrier. For the standard variants, the punched bending parts are directly stocked at the station. If more exotic batches are launched, the according feed modules with the necessary stainless steel parts are simply docked with the pallet truck. From a total of 48 variants, over 50% can be directly installed on the machine without major conversions. To assemble the remaining types, the machine operator swaps the docked modules for available modules.
Station 2: An Epson SCARA robot adds moulded rubber parts that are to be put on the workpiece carriers according to defined criteria. A second Epson robot is responsible for the ejection of the fully assembled sealing members that actually pass this station again on the opposite lane of the transfer system.
Station 3: An Epson SCARA robot G10 inserts the necessary screws and washers quickly and accurately into the boreholes of the moulded rubber parts provided for this purpose. Due to the overhead mounting, maximum flexibility is ensured on a smaller area.
Station 4: The final screwed connection where the screws only need to be loosely tightened is also realised by an Epson SCARA robot.
Benefits at a glance: