V-Guide racking system

Robot vision applications present a number of benefits to manufacturing operations. Automation practices can be improved greatly with the addition of a robot-mounted or stationary vision system. Here are 3 of Liberty Reach’s most frequently used product applications and the departments where they are used.

1. Seam Seal Guidance

 

Seam sealer, adhesives, and protective coatings are essential parts of vehicle production because they enhance structural integrity and product quality. The consistent and precise application of material is difficult for a human to perform quickly and difficult for a robot because parts and vehicles can easily shift in fixtures or on skids. A robot without vision guidance must compensate for varying part positions by applying extra adhesive or sealer material. This leads to extra cost and wasted material.

 

Adding V-Guide™, a robot-mounted vision system, allows the robot to apply less material because it can adjust to the position of each part on the vehicle. V-Guide™ calculates the unique pose of a part before the material is applied. The robot can then perform a perfect application of material, ideal for routines that include interior seam sealing, roof ditch sealing, structural adhesive, PUR-foam, and body structural wax.

 

A stationary VFix™ system calculates the exact position of the vehicle, or large part, so the robot can apply material precisely. It is crucial to achieve a water-tight seal when applying underbody coating, liquid applied sound deadener, and liquid applied transit coating.  A robot guided by VFix™ can lower material costs and improve vehicle quality by applying less material, more precisely.

 

Departments where systems are used: paint, sealer, bodyshop. 

 

2. Racking/De-Racking

 

One of the most frequently requested vision system applications is picking and placing parts onto racks. Racking and de-racking has commonly been performed by factory employees due to inconsistencies with damaged part racks and part positioning. Hand-eye coordination along with two or three points of contact are often necessary in order to pick and place parts on a rack that can easily shift and warp. Robots without assistance from vision technology are more likely to produce faults or collisions when encountering an imperfect rack. Faults and collisions lead to costly shutdowns and imperfect racks can be expensive to maintain.

 

Liberty Reach uses V-Guide™ to resolve the limitations of an unguided robot. With real-time, precise vision guidance, robots can adjust to the part position, no matter the condition of the rack. Adjusting the robot to the position of the part makes picking or placing the part quick and continuous. Tasks that are labor intensive and potentially dangerous for human workers can be safely and continuously executed by vision assisted robots.

 

Departments where systems are used: press shop, body weld, plastics, paint, castings, general assembly.

 

3. Material Handling

 

With stationary and robot-mounted sensor options, robot guided material handling tasks are numerous. Some material handling tasks can include picking known parts from a conveyor, a stack, or an automated guided vehicle. This type of work is often physically demanding, repetitive, and can lead to potential work hazards and productivity loss. With so many material handling tasks within a manufacturing setting, automation technology is regularly used, but the application of robots is limited without knowing the part location and orientation.

 

Robots equipped with vision technology are necessary for most pick and place tasks in which the position of the object varies. A V-Guide™ robot-mounted system can be used in these operations to quickly measure the position of the part using 6 degrees of freedom (position and rotation). The robot is given the precise location and rotation of a known object in order to consistently execute a function on the object. With a robot performing pick and place tasks, work hazards and line shutdowns can be minimized.

 

Departments where systems are used: press shop, body weld, plastics, paint, castings, general assembly.

 

To learn more about Liberty Reach product applications, email info@libertyreach.com.