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Assembly in Action: Robots Weld Stacked Stator Cores

April 19, 2007
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Emerson Motor Technologies Co., a division of Emerson Electric Co. (St. Louis), manufactures fractional horsepower motors for appliances, heating, ventilation, air conditioning and refrigeration equipment under the Emerson, Ceset and Plaset brand names. At its plant in Mena, AR, the company produces motors for fluid pumping systems for water treatment plants, oil refineries and other similar applications.

As part of its production process, the company employs a stator core welding system that was slowing down overall production. To solve the problem, Emerson hired the automation systems company Encobotics (Derby, KS) to develop a more efficient automated cell.

At the heart of the cell is a pair of KR6 arc robots from Kuka Robotics Corp. (Clinton Township, MI). The robots are located on either side of the stator cores and work on the cores in tandem. The cores are brought to the cell via overhead hoist and then manually placed in the cell.

When the cell is up and running, the robots read a bar code on a purchase order, then scan each core to ensure it is both the correct model type and in spec.

Once a part is verified, the robots proceed with their tasks. Each robot is equipped with a plasma torch and a gas metal arc-welding torch. The robots first cut a groove on either side of the core with the plasma torch. They then perform a gas metal arc welding procedure on the core. Once the robots have completed their tasks, the cores are removed via hoist to the next step in the assembly process.

With the implementation of the new system, Emerson Motor Technologies estimates it produces completed cores approximately twice as fast as it did previously. In creating the system, Enocobotics engineers were also able to program the PC-based Kuka robots to automatically recognize and work with 2,000 different Emerson parts. This allows the company to realize even greater cost savings.

For more on robotic assembly, visit www.kukarobotics.com or call 866-873-5852.

For more on automation and systems integration, call 316-806-4087 or visit www.encobotics.com.

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