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Configuring adhesive dispensing equipment with a robot to apply the material correctly on every product can improve delivery and save production costs. The savings are found in more parts per hour, the right amount of adhesive is applied, reduction of repairs and scrap and consolidating different parts into one operation. Robots are becoming more affordable and easy to use for product assembly. Your adhesive dispensing system supplier can show you various robot styles and examples for your process.
When a manufacturer considers purchase of a robotic dispensing system to convert or add a product line, there are a number of factors that will determine success. Configuring the right dispensing equipment with the right automation robot is important to optimize your production process and eliminate process issues. Who do you contact? Those who know the most about robotic dispensing are the dispensing equipment manufacturers who make dispensing systems for automation.
Dispensing equipment manufacturers need assembly process information to select the right dispensing machine for the application. They need the part details to be processed, the material data sheets, location of the adhesive, sealant or gasket material on the part, dimensions and volume of material to be dispensed and the time allotted for dispensing. Selecting the right dispensing equipment manufacturer is critical to ensure the adhesive or sealant metering principle selected is correct. There are eight (8) metering principles available and some may not be suitable for robotic dispensing.
Selecting the robot supplier is as important as choosing the dispensing system supplier. The robot model, software and hardware should be designed specifically for fluid dispensing, bead path programming and heavy duty design for handling the dispensing valve and hoses, maximum required dispense speed and long term performance.
Dispensing robots come in many varieties. The most popular are XYZ gantry robots and small 6-axis robots. The XYZ and 6-axis robots come in many sizes to accommodate one or more parts, the reach requirements and the weight of the dispensing valve. XYZ robots are selected with a small or large gantry, weight capacity and can handle many parts per operation. The advantage of the XYZ robot is its table-mount capability and low initial cost. The advantage of the 6-axis robot is its ability to reach, dispense in multiple work stations and multi-task by either holding a dispense valve or holding a part up to a fixed dispense valve.
Dispense System Integration
The ideal situation is when the dispensing system manufacturer performs the integration of their dispensing system and the robot automation and also performs the bead path programming for the manufacturer. The system manufacturer can then also be the one point of contact and can provide training on both the dispensing system and robot automation. The customer may still elect to specify the robot, purchase it and provide the complete robot automation cell to the dispensing system manufacturer to integrate into a complete working system.
If the dispensing equipment manufacturer is not the first choice to integrate the dispensing equipment with the robot the alternative is to have the robot manufacturer integrate the dispensing system provided they are qualified or are having the dispensing equipment supplier assist in the system integration. Integration tasks include end-of-arm tooling, robot dress-out, interface between controllers, bead path programming for all parts, start-up and run-off for the end user. The end user should select the integrator based on dispensing experience with the materials being dispensed and programming the material dispensed onto the part.
Dispensing manufacturer and robot manufacturer selection directly affects production speed, dispensing quality, adhesive and sealant placement, reduction and elimination of rework and scrap. Selecting the right metering-dispensing system, robot, controls and communication interface provides the largest impact on the fluid application process for the product manufacturer. For lasting success select the best product assembly equipment supplier for precision dispensing and automation.
For robotic dispensing videos and information on precision dispensing systems and robot integration for product assembly applications visit www.SealantEquipment.com/Automation or contact Sealant Equipment & Engineering directly at 734-459-8600.