In the retrofit process, all axes of a 6-axis robot were fitted with multi-dimensional moving energy chains. The complete robot accessory package includes not only the 3D chains that protect and compactly guide cables and tubes in all movements, but also fiber rods for a directed pretension, as well as adapters, protectors and a chain for rotary motion. Since then, there has been no more downtimes.
"The core of our technical research centre is a robot that is constantly in use," says Martin Weber of the Wandres GmbH micro-cleaning, Buchenbach-Wagensteig in the southern Black Forest. The company specialises in the development and production of brush and air-driven cleaning systems. The safe and gentle removal of dust, fibres and minute particles on surfaces is a prerequisite for many manufacturing processes to produce high quality products. "This is especially true for the automotive industry. The highest quality requirements prevail here," says Weber. "In this environment, our 3D micro-cleaning proves its worth before the final painting. Many well-known manufacturers use our special cleaning procedure with the linear-brush robot. “
In the Wandres technical research center, endurance tests are conducted with a multi-axis robot, which inspects the cleaning quality and results of the special brush in different surface structures. The linear-brush robot is ideal for cleaning complex geometrical shapes, which are usually not accessible with alternative methods. Edges and beads can be optimally cleaned with appropriate programming. The travel speed of the robot amounts to about 300 to 400 mm/s.
Both cyclic and continuous operations are possible. Linear-brush robots are used mainly in primer and top coat lines in the automotive industry.
But plastic parts such as bumpers can also be cleaned as a preliminary measure to the painting before the flame impingement during the process. Basis of the operation is the patented "Ingromat" process of the company. It is a special damp mopping process.
With it, the frequently occurring electrostatic charges can be minimized considerably and adhering dust and particles removed safely. In addition, the linear brush has a flexibly mounted working run that adapts perfectly to the convex and concave curved surfaces. The deviation tolerance of the linear brush is -30 / +10 mm, relative to the surface plane. The pressure can be controlled individually.
The 6-axis robot has now been operating at the technical research centre for over two and a half years. "Originally, all robot cables were protected against mechanical damage by protective hoses provided at the factory," recalls Martin Weber. "But this didn't work. They were constantly torn or frayed, resulting in the entire test plant coming to a standstill. Therefore, we had to look for a technical solution that protects the various cables safely and permanently. " In almost all the Wandres cleaning systems for the various industries, energy chains from the comprehensive modular kit are used. This modular kit for virtually any energy supply includes about 80,000 components. In this case, all six axes are equipped with various three-dimensional moving energy chains, specifically designed for demanding robotic applications.
In the circular movement of the axis 1, the axis of rotation, a "twisterchain" demonstrates reliability.
This spiral-shaped modular energy supply system is suitable for circular movements up to 540° and can be configured online. On the axes 2 to 6, the multi-dimensionally moving energy supply systems from the large "triflex® R" family display their strengths. The quick-mounting hose packets for the robot industry reduce downtimes, provide stability and safety; from large welding robots to small palletising robots. Due to its round design, the chain glides over the outer contour of the robot and doesn't get wedged or hooked. Moreover, the smooth inner contour extends the lifetime of the routed cables many times over.
Axes 2 and 3 of the Wandres robot are equipped with the especially easy-to-handle variant "triflex® R light" . This is a functionally reliable solution for less complex movements. For axes 4 to 6, however, the compact"triflex® RS" set is used. With this universal module, the energy chain is always guided parallel to the robot arm and saves space. The module can be mounted directly at all attachment points on the robot. In this particular case, the so-called "Easy" version of the module was chosen in order to enable cables and hoses to be pressed in quickly by hand. With this version, the cables are always visible and accessible from the outside, as a result of which repairs can be carried out extremely quickly.
By its modular design with individual elements, the multi-dimensional movable "triflex® R" robot chains can always be adjusted in length at any time. Shortening and lengthening is possible at any point. Martin Weber of Wandres: "As we conduct new tests or the requirements of our customers vary, it is important to have the ability to adjust the energy supply systems easily. " Even the replacement or retrofitting of a single cable, or an entire cable packet on the robot can be done quickly and easily because the chains can be rapidly filled from the outside.
The 6-axis robot in the technical research centre is at work day and night. Martin Weber: "The energy supply systems must at all times withstand the most varied movement sequences of the linear brush. " In addition, there is the multitude of stored programs. Generally, the batch size 1 prevails in the painting line of the automotive industry. As part of the simulation, Wandres therefore tests different software solutions, which in turn have an impact on the movements of the robot.