In-Line robot work cell

An In-Line robot cell arrangement has a movable conveyor with the work parts. This conveyor travels near the robots for performing a function on the work parts. This type of arrangement is mostly used in the automobile industries for assembling the car bodies. To be more specific, the robots are placed beside the assembly line to carry out some operations like spot welding.

In the in-line robot cell design, anyone of the following transfer system can be used:

  • Synchronous or intermittent transfer system
  • Continuous transfer system
  • Non synchronous transfer system

Synchronous or Intermittent transfer system:

In this transfer system, every work part is transported at the same time from one workplace and stored in another workstation. The robots are placed in a fixed position near the moving line in which the work parts travel. With the help of start and stop motion, the work parts are stopped next to a robot for performing the operations on it.

Continuous transfer system:

The continuous transfer system transfers the work parts continuously at a constant time along a conveyor. The continuous movement of work parts makes the robots tough to operate in a fixed position. As a result, there are two tracking system that helps to solve this problem such as:

  • A moving baseline tracking system: During an operation, this system allows the robot to move equivalent with the path of work parts. Hence, the traveling position of the robot and work parts will remain the same.
  • A stationary baseline tracking system: In this method, the robot is placed in a fixed position along a line. Instead of moving the robot, this system uses the manipulator for tracking the movable work parts. Here, tracking refers to the ability of a robot to sustain the locations of the programmed points relative to the work part even during the movement of the conveyor.

Non synchronous transfer system:

The non-synchronous transfer system allows the work parts to transfer separately along a conveyor. As like synchronous transfer, this system also moves with a start and stop motion. Sometimes, there is the possibility of uneven arrival timings. Therefore, sensors are used for specifying the starting time of the process to a robot. This transfer system is also called as power and free system.

Apart from in-line robot cell, there are other two robot cell arrangements such as robot-centered cell and mobile robot cell.

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