3D-printed holders

3D-printed holders enable cost-efficient conveying solution

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By Adapt Tech

3D-printed holders enable cost-efficient conveying solution: Case Study by Adapt Tech

A special machine manufacturer required a system to feed car body parts to a robot cell. Different parts needed to be conveyed, which the robot then removes and assembles. Some parts are 2000 mm long and 120 mm high, but only 2mm thick. Other parts have similar dimensions but different geometries. The parts needed to be fixed in holders for transportation. Ideally, the manufacturer wanted to use a common holder for all parts.

Requirements for the Conveying System

In addition, the same number of parts were required to be transported on each conveyor. The feed line had to feed the parts to the robot with precise positioning and a cycle time of 30 seconds per part. At the same time, the feeder was to serve as a buffer section so that the robot can work autonomously for a while. The parts needed to be fed manually onto the in-feed line. Process reliability was paramount in this project. It was essential that the conveyors were also low-maintenance and ergonomic for the workers.

mk was able to score points here with a combination of several four-lane timing belt conveyors. Customised product holders were screwed onto the timing belt conveyors. These are designed in such a way that the products can be inserted individually and fed without falling over.

Flexibility and Efficiency of the Solution

As the parts are inserted, the same holders and therefore ultimately the same conveyors were able to be used for all four different geometries. This means that the customer is very flexible in terms of installation and handling. Up to 70 products per conveyor can be transported without sagging or falling. This means that the robot can work unattended for approximately 30 minutes.

3D-Printed Holders: Cost-Effective and Quick

2700 holders were required for all conveyors. mk was able to manufacture these individually, quickly and cost-effectively using its in-house 3D printers. During the solution-finding phase, mk was also able to produce prototypes of the holders so that they could be tested before the final design.

mk timing belts conveyors were used to provide this customer with a customised and cost- effective solution, tailored to their exact requirements. As the only distributor in the UK and Ireland for mk conveyors, contact us to see how we can help you achieve your system requirements.