Automated Cell Handles Gears during Heat-Treatment Process

ABB Robotics has developed a robotic gear-handling cell to transfer gears between alloy trays and baskets in the heat-treatment process that transforms “green” gears into “hard” gears.

ABB Robotics has developed a robotic gear-handling cell to transfer gears between alloy trays and baskets in the heat-treatment process that transforms “green” gears into “hard” gears. It is designed to replace the manual handling processes employed in many heat-treat operations, improving system performance and uptime. The cell is said to flexibly handle multiple gear styles and sizes, and is suited for a variety of power transmission operations ranging from large commercial, military and industrial vehicles to automobiles, marine craft, recreational vehicles, and lawn and garden equipment.

The primary features of the cell include an IRB360 FlexPicker high-speed material handling robot to minimize cycle time; a single flexible servo gripper that can handle multiple gear sizes and styles; and a vision guidance system to capture accurate gear and alloy locations for transfer of gears between the alloy trays and baskets. ABB’s SoftMove technology promotes robot gripper compliance during picking or placing of gears to compensate for warped or bent alloy trays.

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