Wood working robot

Industrial Robot

ISSN: 0143-991x

Article publication date: 1 October 2004




(2004), "Wood working robot", Industrial Robot, Vol. 31 No. 5. https://doi.org/10.1108/ir.2004.04931eaf.003



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2004, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Wood working robot

Wood working robot

Keywords: Robots, Timber

Clifford Jones Timber Limited, one of the country's leading manufacturers of wooden fencing components, has taken a massive step forward with the installation of its new high tech “Robot”. The company, which is based in Ruthin, North Wales, has taken this new and exciting step to allow them to compete with today's extremely competitive market.

The “Robot”, an automated twin cell, based on a standard Comau SMART H2 articulated-arm robot, has resulted in dramatic quality and cost benefits. Productivity per head has more than doubled, and undiscounted payback calculations show that the investment will be recouped in just 18 months.

Robert Lewis, Project Manager, heralded the supply of the cell as a complete success – commenting, “The solution was very much the result of close collaboration between ourselves and Clifford Jones Timber Ltd, the 'Robot' provides exactly what they were looking for in terms of flexibility and increased production”.

The new automated system has replaced the former labour intensive process, which required a high level of operator skill to achieve consistent quality. The 6-axis, pedestal mounted, Comau robot has been interfaced with a take-off from an automatic bark peeling machine which feeds the cell; where it collects the post, takes it to a pointing station, rather like a giant pencil sharpener, points it then delivers the post to the selected station (Plate 3).

Plate 3 A picture of the robot at the “pointing” station – the giant pencil sharpener

“This development has been done off-line. The flexibility of the robot has proved itself, with the final cell configuration fully meeting the range of components considered essential,” added Robert Lewis.

Clifford Jones Timber's Managing Director, Mr Alan Jones, commented, “Programming is straightforward using the Comau C3G Plus cell controller. The machine operates on a batch system and can handle one-offs. We are able to process anything from our size range with the option of split or solid posts. Seeing all the elements coming together on site and fine tuning of the cycle time is verypleasing”.

For more information, contact: Robert Lewis, Operations Manager, Comau, Harlescott Lane, Shrewsbury, SY13AS, UK. Tel: 01743 453 800; Fax: 01743 453 810; E-mail: robert.lewis@comau.co.uk

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