Ensuring product quality before presenting to final visual inspection
This Clean Room Molding Machine Unload, Leak and Flow Test Cell was designed to integrate to an injection molding machine with 3 B-Sides of the mold on an indexing table to allow for loading of over-molded components in position 1, injection molded process in position 2, and the automated unloading in position 3. Integrated leak, flow and electrical continuity inspection are done using an UR-5 robot (Universal Robots) to ensure functional quality. Should the product fail any of the 3 inspection criteria, the failed part is dropped into a lockbox to ensure only functional products reach the technician that does a final visual inspection and packages the product.
Using our unique agile process, we worked with our customer and their OEM to identify ways of simplifying the design using vendors with unique value. Z-Axis and Fastest, two of our vendor partners, created variations of custom products that allowed us to do all the testing on one fixture instead of transferring parts from inspection to inspection. This collaborative process of working with our clients, their customers and our vendors makes the custom automation equipment we build truly unique.
Summit partners with Z-Axis on its most demanding leak and flow applications. Z-Axis integrated a flow sensor into their tester to allow the unit to monitor traditional pressure decay leak testing to ensure the components were over-molded properly. In addition, the units require parabolic flow testing. Z-Axis integrated this feature and provided two additional units so that offline testing and OEM verification can be done prior to critical assembly. This allows for uniform testing throughout the process.
Our customer requested that the Universal Robot be integrated into the automation because of the ease of use of controls and integration to our Allen Bradley controls via Ethernet creates efficient communication. By employing our agile process, the machine design was greatly simplified by integrating the testing into one fixture. We created the most reliable automation by deploying standard robotics and electrical grippers. We believe integrating intelligent automation saves our clients in the long run and we are excited about the future of collaborative robotics.
Technologies Used: Alan Bradley PLC/HMI. Universal Robots UR-5, Z-Axis Leak and Flow Detection, SMC Electric Grippers, Dorner Conveyors UL Listed and inspected.