Robotic Assembly Line Automation
The requirements for world class manufacturers to continually reduce product cycle times has led to complex requirements. Fully automated lines require complex automation to process a high volume of parts in the shortest possible times.
On the other hand, small batch sizes are often run on partially automated lines combined with manual workstations, this is especially true when there is a high variation of product to pass through the line.
At ALM Engineering Solutions, we conceptualise, design and build assembly line automation robotic carriers and fixtures to suit your components and assemblies.
Workpiece Pallets / Workpiece Carriers
Transfer systems are widely available from manufactures such as Bosch Rexroth, Versa Move, Elcom etc. However, it doesn’t matter which robotic automation transfer system you install, without the correct fixture on the workpiece pallet, your line will not run efficiently.
A workpiece pallet or workpiece carrier is used on a transfer system or conveyor system to move the workpiece through the processing stations.
The workpiece pallet can vary in size from a small workpiece load of less than 3kgs to large components weighing in excess of 750kgs.
The workpiece pallet or workpiece carrier is a simple pallet which moves along the transfer system stopping at predetermined points to allow assembly operators or robotic automation to perform operations on the workpiece.
The workpiece carrier on its own is not able to carry the workpiece, it has to be adapted by fitting a workpiece holding fixture to the carrier.
These fixtures can be designed to accommodate a single workpiece or more commonly adapted to carry multiple variants of workpiece.
Our fixtures can be designed to accommodate multiple products, eliminating the need for multiple fixtures and the associated cost.
CAD to Design & Build
With experienced CAD design engineers, ALM can work from your CAD models to design and build the workpiece carrier even before the actual components have been produced.
This ability to manufacture pre-production workpiece carriers reduces your production set up and lead time and ensures product is ready to run as soon as the plant starts to produce.
Using Soldworks design software and Soldworks visualize, we are able to develop your workpiece carrier from a simple idea to a finished design.
We can also share design ideas and lifelike images via the latest video conference facilities.
We can quickly adapt and view real time images from your smartphone to adapt and modify any aspect through the manufacturing process.
This ability saves you time and money as you don’t need to wait on a visit from our engineers, likewise you don’t need to spend time travelling to sign off on agreed milestones.
Once the initial workpiece carrier has been designed, our manufacturing engineers will machine and build the component fixture and attach this to the workpiece pallet or carrier.
ALM Engineering solutions operate a full CNC machine shop with robotic machine loading and lights out running to deliver components quickly and in a cost effective manner.
Workpiece carriers can be manufactured from a range of materials including solid aluminium, plastic or aluminium profiles and stainless steel.
Where complex shapes are involved, we use additive manufacturing to create strong and lightweight workpiece fixtures.
The workpiece carrier might also be fitted with a range of grippers and clamps depending upon the type of assembly operation required on the system.
Design engineers work alongside production engineers to build and test the prototype before you can sign off the finished product.
Complete manufacture takes place quickly and all parts are traceable for quick replacement or modification.
Workpiece Pallets can be re-furbished at the end of the product life and new workpiece carriers designed and built to fit onto the existing pallets.