When a manufacturer of air compressor rotors wanted to improve the safety and efficiency of their grinding operation, Okuma and Gosiger Automation found a solution! Combining an Okuma GA-47 grinder with a single-handed FANUC robot with vision system and manually adjustable grippers, the new grinding cell reduced cycle time from 45 minutes to 16.8 minutes.
The automated cell allows one operator to manage multiple cells, provides more consistent throughput and increases safety. The reduced operator workload and elimination of heavy lifting allowed for an upgraded grinding wheel, which accounts for some of the improved cycle time.
The addition of an in-process Marposs gauging probe allows the machine to automatically adjust during grinding to improve accuracy and consistency. The robot’s grippers and the specially-designed chuck are manually adjustable allowing the cell to handle various sized parts, up to 420 pounds.
A specialized conveyor system is served parts by a fork truck and incorporates an integrated light curtain for safety. When a pallet is completely loaded with finished parts, a pallet of unfinished parts is loaded on the front end of the conveyor, pushing the finished goods pallet out of the cell, thus keeping the process moving and eliminating the need for manual parts handling.