Robotic Assembly Process

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Article publication date: 1 August 2004




Rigelsford, J. (2004), "Robotic Assembly Process", Industrial Robot, Vol. 31 No. 4.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Robotic Assembly Process

Robotic Assembly Process

Keywords: Robotics, Assembly, Patents, Plastics

Applicant: ABB, Inc., CanadaPatent number: US6,627,016Publication date: 30 September 2003Title: Robotic assembly process for plastic components

The present invention relates to a method for manufacturing plastic components. It provides an integrated material handling and robotic assembly system where plastic components are manufactured from parts mounted upon a plastic shell, and are assembled through a progressive series of robot work cells.

The robot cells carry out the following steps:

  1. 1.

    scanning the pallet and identifying that the pallet is locked in the docked position of the cell;

  2. 2.

    scanning an assembly area of the shell and communicating location and planarity data to the robot of the cell;

  3. 3.

    selecting a plastic part from a part supply device with the robot;

  4. 4.

    welding the part to the assembly surface of the plastic shell using the robot to perform a spin or fusion welding process; and

  5. 5.

    determining the performance status of the foregoing cell steps and identifying the status as: good; scrap or rework.

The invention described can provide a high degree of accuracy and repeatability for manufacturing plastic components through the use of vision and laser scanning of parts and areas to which they are assembled. By providing robotic assembly and standardized pallets conveyed on the integrated material handling system, the invention provides the advantage of a high degree of inherent flexibility and competitive cycle time, as opposed to conventional hard or dedicated automation methods.

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