AIA: Winders Increase Throughput
Baldor Electric Co. (Fort Smith, AR) manufactures electric motors, drives and generators. Central to this process is building coils for its products. In its commercial motor line, cycle times for winding stator assemblies were up to a full day and required time-consuming manual labor at a number of steps. To increase throughput and decrease costs, Baldor installed an automated stator assembly system from Alliance Winding Equipment (Fort Wayne, IN).
As part of this system, Baldor installed six customized Alliance winding machines. These winders are actually driven by Baldor motors and coordinated using Baldor software. Each winder incorporates six BSM servomotors, six FlexDrive controllers and the NextMovePCI motion control card.
The production line uses tooling pallets with radio frequency (RF) tags to hold the stator packs and move them on a conveyor from one station to the next. The RF memory chips track data and process information. As a pallet moves down the line, the engineering database downloads the specifications for the motor being assembled to the various stations. As the pallet passes each RF sensor, it also triggers that station to begin operation.
In each of the Alliance winding cells the RF chip prompts the host computer to download the correct electrical winding data. The host computer then informs the NextMovePCI motion controller what job to perform. Specific parameters include wire gauge, winding configuration and the size of the stator.
In terms of the actual winding, a "flyer" servomotor forms the winding with the correct number of turns of wire; a "jump" servomotor controls layering; a "form" servomotor makes adjustments for different stator frame sizes; a wire handler uses a pair of servomotors for X and Y positioning; and a sixth and final servomotor controls table indexing. Each stator assembly goes through a single winding machine during the assembly process.
With the Alliance automation system in place, stator assembly times have been cut to 20 minutes per assembly, and the number of workers involved in the process has been reduced by a factor of 10. Because of the repeatability and precision control of the system, Baldor says product quality has also improved and the number of rejects decreased.
For more on automated coil winding call 260-478-2200 or visit www.alliance-winding.com.
For more on servomotors call 800-828-4920 or visit www.baldor.com.