An advanced UR5 robotic solution that contributes to FWP’s bottom line.
01 the short story
Ferd. Wagner profile’s production was in need of a robust and dependable automation solution that could consistently deliver high quality welding and soldering of fragile parts. The advanced solution, developed in conjunction with Faude Automisierungstechnik, sorts, welds and solders the parts while handling them with the utmost care and precision. The solution saves Ferd. Wagner profile by delivering consistently high-quality welds again and again.
02 The challenge
With between 500,000 and 600,000 components being manually soldered and welded each year, Ferd. Wagner Profile’s production lines were no longer cost-effective. The fluctuating nature of manual production made it hard to calculate the cost of the final products.
The solution that Ferd. Wagner Profile were looking for would have to be very advanced with multiple stages where quality would be the deciding factor. It would need to prepare and secure unmachined parts without any interference or assistance, then feed the parts into the welding stage. The pieces would then need to be properly positioned for the soldering process.
Seasonality was also an issue, as Ferd. Wagner Profile’s products change from season to season. Any solution that was chosen would also have to be flexible and reprogrammable to effectively meet the needs of the company’s production.
UR5 collaborative robot, Ferdinand Wagner, Germany
03 the solution
Ferd. Wagner Profile worked closely with Faude Automisierungstechnik to develop a solution based on the UR5 that could meet the productions demands.
Two UR robots, working in close collaboration with each other - and other machines - now control the complex soldering and welding process. The first robot selects the parts to be welded, inserts them in a tack-welding machine and then places them in a fluid. The second robot takes the piece to a high-frequency soldering station to be fused together. The robot then holds the pieces up to a camera system that automatically and objectively checks the quality of the welding and soldering work.
The robots and the gripping tools are fine-tuned to carefully move the parts as they have fragile decorative surfaces and any damage renders them unusable. This quickly becomes costly when multiplied by the hundreds of thousands of units that are processed each year.
Those employees who were previously in charge of welding and soldering processes are still employed by the company; they now mainly focus on the processing of smaller batch quantities.
This robot duo is designed to process around 160 parts per hour. They are used in two-shift intervals followed by a blind shift. At the end of the working day the robots continue working on an unmanned shift until the material is exhausted.
- Relieved employees of strenuous, repetitive tasks.
- Improved the operational efficiency of the production line.
- Easy programming
- Flexible deployment
- Fast payback
- Quality inspection
- Gluing, dispensing and welding
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Cost-effective, safe and flexible collaborative robots - or cobots- are making automation easier than ever, even for the small and mid-sized companies.