Afma launches heavy-duty gantry robots for complex production

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Article publication date: 1 April 2000

Keywords

Citation

(2000), "Afma launches heavy-duty gantry robots for complex production", Industrial Robot, Vol. 27 No. 2. https://doi.org/10.1108/ir.2000.04927bad.003

Publisher

:

Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited


Afma launches heavy-duty gantry robots for complex production

Afma launches heavy-duty gantry robots for complex production

Keywords: Robots, Production

French company Afma Robots is a specialist in automation solutions. It has launched a three-to-five axis gantry-robot for industrial production of large and specific complex parts for special applications in the aeronautic industry. This gantry robot carries out both high precision cutting and 3D welding of parts. For the automotive sector, Afma Robots proposes a handling gantry for loading and unloading of highspeed machining tools. This unique gantry enables heavy loads of up to 1 tonne to be handled at very high speeds (120m/min) (Plate 3).

Mounted on four rigid reinforced concrete pillars, the laser robot alternately carries out cutting and orbital welding operations in five axes by changing the laser head. Parts of different shapes and sizes are held in a fixed position under the laser beam by another robot, which picks them from five supply points. The gantry's precision is greater than 0.1mm per metre of displacement with repeatability of 0.02mm.

Plate 3Mounted on four rigid reinforced concrete pillars, the laser robot alternately carries out cutting and orbital welding operations in five axes by changing the laser head

Its rigid anti-vibration structure enables several technologies to be incorporated: laser, water jet, machining spindles or non-destructive controls. Cutting and welding uses a 2kW CO2 laser for titanium or stainless steel conduits. For work in five axes, the laser head turns around the part under the control of a joint-tracking optical system, which adjusts trajectory in real time. Cutting with a very high-pressure water-jet at 3,800bar is also possible, with or without abrasives, on parts in aluminium and composite. Machining and drilling of composite materials are used on monolithic or honeycomb aeroframes.

Afma Robots provides telemaintenance on its equipment, as well as auxiliary functions such as management of laser parameters, checking of geometry, suction removal of filings, tooling configuration, laser head changing, loading of parts, water recycling etc. Afma Robots has perfected state-of-the-art laser welding and joint-tracking techniques. The geometric quality of parts handled by this multi-purpose gantry-robot resembles that obtained with machine-tools.

For more information please contact: Dan Ray - Press Officer, FTPB, 21-24 Grosvenor Place, London SW1X 7TB, UK. Fax: +44 (0) 171 235 2773; E-mail: dan.ray.ftpb@cfme-actim.com