Robots get a fix on windscreen problems

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Article publication date: 1 August 2000




(2000), "Robots get a fix on windscreen problems", Industrial Robot, Vol. 27 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2000, MCB UP Limited

Robots get a fix on windscreen problems

Robots get a fix on windscreen problems

Keywords: Robots, Automotive

Pilkington Automotive in Birmingham manufacture 35 types of car windscreen, ten of which need mirror bosses fitted to the inner surface. Manual fixing and handling was time consuming, with inevitable damage to the windscreens, resulting in costly scrap. To address the problem, Pilkington's approached Telford based Comau Robotics, to integrate these manoeuvres into existing robotic handling cells. Comau had already supplied other robots to the windscreen production line.

As part of the normal cycle, two identical COMAU 6-Axis robotic cells were adapted to lift the windscreen off assembly line conveyors, using four suction cup grippers and present one edge to a station where an aluminium spacer clip is added. This allows the screens to be palletised vertically without the top edges clashing together (see Plate 6).

At this stage in manufacture the mirror boss fixture was added to the cycle. The presentation of a printed patch on the curved windscreen to the mirror boss required a level of precision which is only possible with a vision system and is performed as a simultaneous operation. The robots then invert the windscreens and palletise them ready for autoclaving.

Plate 6 Two identical COMAU 6-Axis robotic cells were adapted at Pilkington Automotive

This adaptation saw an immediate increase in production throughput and, more importantly, a significant reduction in damage to the windscreen surfaces resulting in less waste and scrap.

For more information contact Robert Lewis, Comau UK Limited, Unit 3 Hortonwood 32, Telford, Shropshire TF1 4EU. Tel: 01952 670396; Fax: 01952 670398.

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