5 Components of a Robotic Press Automation Line

A typical robotic stamping line consists of the following parts:

Robot, electronic control system, dismounting device, transition belt, sheet metal cleaning machine, sheet metal oiler, centering device, end-of-line palletizing system, safety protection system and robotic end picker.

The specific arrangement can be adjusted according to the area of the production workshop, for example, the depalletizing car can be opened either parallel or perpendicular to the punching line.

robotic stamping line

1. Stamping Robot

Stamping production robots require large payloads, precise trajectories, stable and reliable performance, and other common features of transport robots.

It must also meet the characteristics of frequent starting/braking, large operating range, large workpiece size and large turning area etc.

The stamping robots from various manufacturers have increased motor power and reducer specifications, lengthened arms, and widely used scaffold-mounted structures on the basis of common handling robots.

2. Roboticized automation press line control system

Roboticized automation press line control system needs to integrate presses, robots, depalletizer, cleaners, oilier, centering device, double material detection devices, visual recognition systems, various belts, synchronous control systems, safety protection systems and large screen displays, and it also has the ability to seamlessly integrate into plant MES systems.

In order to effectively integrate so many intelligent control systems, Ethernet and industrial fieldbus secondary network systems are generally used, and the fieldbus system may also be equipped with a safety bus.

Roboticized automation press line control system

3. Destacking system

At present, there are three common depalletizing systems, namely dedicated depalletizer/robot, depalletizing trolley/truss type manipulator and depalletizing trolley.

1)Specialized depalletizer

The structural feature is that the pallets are placed on a movable hydraulic lifting trolley.

The height of the stacked material is controlled by means of photoelectric sensors and hydraulic systems, which remain constant; the magnetic spreader is pneumatically or electrically driven and is automatically close to the stacked material.

The vacuum chuck group driven by a cylinder and arranged in a matrix is used for destacking, and the vacuum chuck group moves vertically;

The dismantled sheets are transported by magnetic belts.

2) Robot + destacking trolley

The structural feature is that the stack material is placed on a movable destacking trolley;

The height of the stacking material is not controlled, and the robot suction height is automatically adjusted by the calculated sheet thickness when unstacking;

The bracket of the magnetic divider is installed on the destacking trolley.

The rack is translatable and has several freely rotatable adjustment joints, allowing the magnetic spreader to be placed manually against the perimeter of the stock during stock changes.

Vacuum sucker sets and double strength testing sensors for destacking are set on gantry robot tooling.

The sheet split into individual is placed on a retractable transition belt by the robot for transmission.

(3) Truss manipulator + depalletizing trolley

The structural feature is that the stack material is placed on a movable destacking trolley.

The stacking height is not controlled, and the robot automatically adjusts the suction height by the calculated sheet thickness during depalletizing.

The bracket of the magnetic divider is installed on the destacking trolley.

The bracket can be translated and has multiple adjustable joints that can rotate freely.

When changing the stacking material, it need to manually place the magnetic divider against the stacking material periphery;

Vacuum sucker sets and double strength testing sensors for destacking are set on gantry robot tooling.

The sheet split into individual is placed on a retractable transition belt by the manipulator for transmission.

(4) Extensible belt conveyor

The extensible belt conveyor is used to transfer a single sheet after completing destacking, and it can provide the required moving speed for sheet metal through the washing machine.

The speed of the belt conveyor is generally controlled by frequency conversion to ensure synchronization with the subsequent washing machine and oilier.

The length of the belt can be adjusted to fill the space when the sheet metal is not cleaned and the cleaning machine is offline.

(5) Sheet metal cleaning machine

According to the output, sheet metal cleaning can be divided into online cleaning and offline cleaning:

On-line washing is suitable for enterprises with large quantities.

In order to adapt to the size of the car’s overall side circumference, the size of the online cleaning machine is generally 4.2m wide.

Off-line cleaning is suitable for enterprises with low single-model output in the initial stage of production.

One sheet metal cleaning line can supply 2 to 3 punching lines, and the specification of the offline cleaning machine is generally 2m in width.

The cleaning machine consists of a roller system consisting of a feed roller, a brush roller and a squeezing roller, a power and transmission system, a hydraulic adjustment mechanism, a cleaning filter system, a cluster nozzle assembly, an oil mist collector, a lubrication system, a walking mechanism, and electrical control system etc.

It is mainly used for the cleaning of standard plates, uncoated, galvanized and aluminum sheets and coils.

The washing machine has a self-propelled mechanism, and the whole machine can be driven out along the ground track when the washing process is not required.

The guide roller, brush roller and squeezing roller have independent pressure adjustment and frequency conversion drive mechanism.

By accurately adjusting the pressure and speed, it can be ensured that the worn and repaired roller system keeps synchronization with the production line.

The squeezing roller adopts non-woven laminated cloth roller to provide good squeezing and tensioning performance, and has anti-scratch and self-healing functions.

The cleaning oil tank has a heating system, which can make the cleaning medium be used at different ambient temperatures and achieve the best oiling effect.

The electrical system adopts PLC control with fieldbus communication function, parameter setting and fault diagnosis can be carried out through the touch screen man-machine interface.

(6) Sheet metal oilier

In order to ensure the quality of the sheet when drawing and forming at high speed, the local application of drawing oil to the sheet before stamping and forming is a common process in automotive plants and is suitable for oiling machines in automated stamping lines.

The oilier is mainly used for the oiling process before sheet metal drawing, which is composed of gun unit, oil supply and oil heat preservation unit, air supply unit, sheet conveying unit, oil mist collection unit, electrical control unit and machine etc.

The oilier has a walking mechanism, which can be moved offline when no oiling is needed.

The nozzles are digitally controlled to ensure accurate positioning of the oil film on the sheet and uniform film thickness.

No matter how the ambient temperature changes, the oil supply and oil insulation units are in a waiting state, and the oil temperature is constant to ensure the effect.

(7) Sheet metal centering device

In order to ensure that the sheet is accurately placed in the mold, it is necessary to align the sheet before the robot picks up the sheet.

There are three common types of centering devices: gravity centering device, mechanical centering device and optical centering device.

Gravity centering device

The sheet metal is positioned by gravity on a ball-filled inclined surface and the table has sheet-in-place inspection and double material inspection.

Gravity orientation device is suitable for the robot to place the sheet directly, but is not for the automatic line with washing machine and oiling machine.

Mechanical orientation device

The sheet metal is moved to the block by the magnetic leather bag, and the other three cylinders drive the feeder to push it toward the center to achieve precise positioning.

The position of all feeders can be taught and programmed, and the  centering device has sheet material in-position detection and double-material detection.

The mechanical centering device can meet the high-speed centering of various heterosexual materials.

In addition, a dual-center design can be used to meet the requirements of the simultaneous processing of two-piece or dual-mode dual parts.

The plate has to reach detection and double strength detection of sheet metal.

Optical orientation device

This is a technology developed in recent years, and the principle is to automatically adjust the trajectory of the robot after using video processing software to automatically adjust the position of the sheet metal obtained by taking pictures.

Thus, it not only meets the requirement of accurately placing the sheet metal into the mold, but also avoids the complicated mechanism of the mechanical centering device.

The optical orientation device is essentially a magnetic belt conveyor with sheet metal reaching detection and double strength detection.

Compared with the mechanical centering device, the optical centering device can significantly reduce the cost.

4. Robotic seven-axis and endpicker

Standard six-axletree robot for stamping is capable of a production rate of 8 pieces/min.

To further increase productivity, robot manufacturers and system integrators have developed an additional seven-axis in recent years.

With seven-axis, the production rate of automated robotic stamping lines can be further increased to 12 pieces/min, which enables the productivity of robot-automated stamping lines to compete with the high-speed lines of expensive dedicated robots.

5. End-of-line palletizing system

The productive tempo of the automated stamping line can exceed 10 pieces/min, which makes the load on the end-of-line palletizing station exceed the labor limit.

In order to adapt high-tempo output, the finished stamping parts need to be diverted first, then they are manually or robotically packed into the rack, and finally the racks are removed by a forklift.

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