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Robotized Air Vortex Assembly Units

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Creation of Design Theory, Development and Research on Robot-Aided Assembly Complexes of a New Type Based on Using Air Vortex for Parts‘ Orientation and Assembly

Tech Area / Field

  • MAN-ROB/Robotics/Manufacturing Technology
  • MAN-COM/CAD and CAM/Manufacturing Technology

Status
3 Approved without Funding

Registration date
16.05.2001

Leading Institute
Moscow State Technical University "MAMI", Russia, Moscow

Supporting institutes

  • AVTOPROMSBORKA, Scientific-Production Republic Unitary Enterprise, Belarus, Minsk

Collaborators

  • Universita di Pisa / Dipartimento di Ingegneria Meccanica, Nucleare e della Produzione, Italy, Pisa\nDaimler Chrysler AG, Germany, Stuttgart

Project summary

The project objective is: to create a new type of assembly equipment – robotic assembly cells, in which parts’ orientation and assembly are carried out with the aid of air vortex in a special pneumovortical (PV) module. A PV module is placed in a robot gripper. The robot moves successively the module by preset program to the parts’ magazine placed around it (for example, to vibrohoppers), gather the necessary set of parts, and at the last position the parts’ connection takes place with the help of a screwdriver, a press or another mechanism situated in the cell (the detailed description and illustration — in Section 3).

The main advantage of pneumovortical methods is the possibility of parts’ orientation and assembly at a and assembly at a considerable initial distance error between their axes (including precision pairs with the clearance from 1.0 to 2.0 mcm) without placing extra accuracy and quality demands on parts.

The method provides the assembly of parts of different shapes, different materials, unchamfered and non-round shapes parts. Also multi-article assembly of both similar and different parts is possible.

Experience shows that use of pneumovortical methods for assembly operations ensures high quality of assembly, multiple increase in productivity compared to manual of mechanized assembly, lowers greatly the cost of assembly equipment and respectively, the articles cost in comparision with the traditional assembly machines for the same work envelope. The modules are very reliable and absolutely safe for work, they are also environment-friendly.

To realize the advantages mentioned above and to create in metal an experimental sample of robotic pneumovortical cell (a robot-aided complex) envisaged by project. It is necessary to develop the air vortex theory applicable to assembly technologies, the theory of parametric and structural layout synthesis of assembly equipment base on the new technology. As a result it will provide the creation of highly — efficient equipment of a new type for automated assembly for small units which is absent on the world market now, jointly with the collaborators and other enterprises interested in the project.

The analysis of patents and technical literature, the trips to international technical exhibitions led us to the conclusion that there are no analogs to our concepts in the world practice.

Along with that Russian scientists have accumulated certain designing and laboratory experience of building and investigation of vortical machines; many authors’ certificates have been received; there has been certain experience of using pneumovortical modules in industry.

Topicality of the project

Assembly is final stage of machine manufacture. The assembly processes’ quality influences immediately the final products’ quality and best of all it is obtained by automated assembly. Another advantage of assembly automation is eliminating routine and even hard manual work, which means a more human approach to production processes. These two factors should promote wide-spread assembly automation in machine building and other branches of industry, but the level of automation remains low up to now.

Each fourth worker at machine building plants of industrially developed countries as busy with assembly operations, and he carried out assembly operations mostly manually.

It is worth noting that one of the main tasks of assembly automation is to provide its flexibility, also in mass and large-scale production. It takes about 20-30 sec to machine complicated parts on a machine-tool or on a machine line, but assembly of such parts takes 2-3 sec. So a machine must assembly several different parts to recover expenses on assembly automation and to ensure group or flexible assembly.

The topicality of the project is not only in the possibility of effective assembly automation by using pneumovortical assembly technologies, but also in the possibility of providing flexible assembly, as for another part’s assembly it is necessary to replace only one element in the PV module – the plate where the assembled parts are oriented.

Expected results

The project envisages not only the development of theoretical basics for the optimal synthesis of the new class assembly machines made up of obtaining the most efficient solution at the equipment design stage. Assembly PV modules, whose designs are being patented now, will be built and tested; a sample of a robotic assembly cell (of a robot-aided complex) for a standardized article will be created. We plan our participation in international exhibition and congresses, our making reports and demonstrating video films, CD which advertise pneumovortical assembly equipment. Jointly with the collaborators (the work is in progress now) we’ll find partners – customers, with whom we’ll develop technical offers on building assembly machines and on introduction of commercial samples on industrial enterprises.


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