"We use industrial robots to perform the adhesive trace operations on our assembly lines. We have more than 20 robots using a crash protection device, and we have virtually eliminated downtime and retraining on these systems," says Bert Britton, technical engineering supervisor for Guide Corp. (Monroe, LA). "Since installing the crash protection device, we have saved approximately $16,000 in labor costs per month."

Guide Corp. uses crash protection devices supplied by ATI Industrial Automation (Apex, NC). The company produces headlights for automobiles. It introduced the first electric headlight in 1908. Guide now builds 70 percent of all headlights for General Motors Corp.’s vehicles.

In the company’s assembly operations, subassemblies are manually loaded into trays that are fed into the robot cell. The robot dispenses adhesive into a channel at the rate of one part every 24 seconds.

In the past, if a part was loaded into the tray incorrectly, the robot arm would crash, shutting down the assembly process and possibly damaging the adhesive dispensing nozzle. Each incident resulted in a shutdown of at least 30 minutes.

Now, predetermined angular or axial displacement, and torsional rotation limits are set within the crash protector. This allows the robot controller time for corrective action. The controller returns to home and re-indexes after a crash. The operator is notified of the location of the incorrectly loaded part. The situation is corrected and production continues.

All new assembly lines now include the crash protector. The protector and controller interface also provide such auxiliary functions as turning off adhesive flow during application changeovers and notifying downstream assembly operators of potential mistakes on certain parts.

For more information on crash protection devices, call 919-772-0115 or visit www.ati-ia.com.