Customer is a major Australasian plastic thermoforming company servicing local and international clients.To keep up with the increasing demand for specialized and technical parts, the customer sought to increase his manufacturing capacity
A low cost, yet highly versatile solution was developed to meet the customer's requirements, which included :
- One Nachi ST166 robot, with over 2.6 meters reach and ±0.3 mm repeatability, mounted on a traverse device with 5 meters span.
- An AC Motor driven routing spindle with variable speed control up to 40,000 rpm and pneumatically controlled tool drop and pick capability.
- Two custom made Indexing tables supplied by Nachi's system partner.
- Programming interface to CAD/CAM system, which was used by the customer.
- Elaborate safety / control systems. HMI operation panel to be used as the point of control for the cell.
- AX on Desk -Nachi's proprietary offline programming / simulation software package.
One of the main requirements of the customer was that the robot be capable of being programmed offline through existing CAD/CAM systems. This would make the need for additional 3rd party CAM software to program the robot and additional training requirements redundant. To meet this requirement, Nachi worked with CAD CAM Manufacturer, whose products the customer currently uses, to produce a post processor to convert NC data produced by the CAM system into the robot program.
Once such a program is synthesized, for a plastic part to be machined, the operator then loads the program into the AX on Desk . The AX on Desk software provides the CAM operator with ability to simulate the robot motion in a virtual world to check for potential problems like interference, unreachable points and axes over travel errors. Based on his observation, the CAM operator can then modify the tool path in the CAM system or the robot path in the AX on Desk . After a program is finalized, it is copied into the robot controller's memory using a Ethernet based network connection.
The Robot cell was successfully commissioned and has achieved a dramatic productivity increase compared to the previous method. The customer is highly satisfied with the cycle time, excellent finish quality and dimensional accuracy of the finished part.
• High productivity and low maintenance.
• Consistent quality and very good dimensional accuracy.
• Offline programming and CAM interface eliminates need for highly skilled personnel and training.
• Low cost and high rate of return.