Assembly in Action: Valve Technology Streamlines Robots
KUKA Robotics Corp. (Sterling Heights, MI) understands that for fast implementation and smooth changeover to new or modified production lines, the end-of-arm tooling needs to be set up and installed quickly and efficiently.
Historically, a major area of concern is “robot dressing,” which is the mass of cabling and tubing around the robot. In the automotive industry, where manufacturing plants consist of numerous cells and various handling tasks are spread over large areas, the industrial robot dominates. Here robot dressing can be a major headache.
To help its customers reduce the amount of cabling and tubing required to install its robots, KUKA contacted IMI Norgren Inc. (Littleton, CO). Combining its integrated energy supply harness system with Norgren’s compact valve islands cut the amount of cabling and tubing required for a robot installation.
Robots are fitted with a VM10 Fieldbus valve island at the arm end. Grippers, other actuators associated with the end-of-arm tooling and position sensors are connected directly to the valve island, cutting back on cabling and tubing.
The VM10 valve island is compact with low mass. The high-flow spool provides smooth action, and the IP65 rating signifies resistance to the hostile environment typically found around metal machining processes.
Fieldbus versions of the VM10 are available in a variety of off-the-shelf protocols. The end-of-arm tooling only requires single compressed air, electrical power and Fieldbus communications connections for quick and efficient robot dressing , resulting in shorter down times, increased efficiency and lower costs.
For more information on valves, call 303-794-2611 or visit www.norgren.com.