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Constant cost pressure hovers like a sword of Damocles over the manufacturing industry. However, in order to be able to plan in the medium to long term, to have capital available for necessary investments and to respond flexibly to customer requirements, a certain price stability is the be-all and end-all. Ferd. Wagner Profile, a Zapp AG company, has therefore decided to automate the welding and soldering processes in component production for the lifestyle sector.
Faude integrated two lightweight robots from the Danish manufacturer Universal Robots into production, thus ensuring more price security.
The catalog of requirements for this was extensive: the parts to be machined were to be provided and fixed without interference and the feed for the welding process ensured. It was also important to have a clean positioning during the subsequent soldering. Another challenge was checking the soldered connection. This must be flawless for the parts that are used for premium products with a high aesthetic standard and must not have any interruptions or leaks. The previous visual inspection should be replaced as part of the automation solution. Last but not least, the employees were at Ferd. Wagner Profile was relatively inexperienced in robotics, so the solution had to be easy to use.
The robot picks up both parts one after the other and places them in a device on a tack welding machine. There the two parts are stapled without leaving any welding marks. The welding system releases the connected parts, the robot picks them up and moves to a storage position where it deposits them precisely in a liquid. Robot 2 picks up the parts there with the aid of a single gripper. Robot 1 starts its cycle again, while robot 2 brings the parts to a high-frequency soldering station, where they are hard-soldered at around 800 degrees and thus permanently connected to one another. This is followed by quality control using the “Flexvison®” camera system from Faude Tec GmbH. The lightweight robot holds the components in different positions in the camera, which checks all side lines and seams.