Custom product handling system from Linkx improves process consistency at MP Eastern
Linkx Systemscontact supplier
Product handling system
A custom-designed product handling system designed and developed by Linkx Systems has enabled MP Eastern, a supplier of anodising and electroplating services, to improve productivity and process consistency.
MP Eastern’s services cater for demanding applications in the oil and gas, motorsport, aerospace and defence sectors. The company applies a surface treatment to couplings — which range in size from 4.5in to 22.5in (114mm to 572mm) — to prevent the threads from seizing on assembly.
The Linkx system — which incorporates a Kuka robot — is designed specifically for handling heavy-threaded steel couplings used in the oil and gas industry. The handling system is required to pick up the couplings after they have been treated, move them to a burnishing station so that the threads can be polished, then rotate them through 90º before dipping them in a water tank for cleaning and ultimately transporting them to a drainage platform where they are dried with an air jet.
Having considered these requirements, Linkx decided that, as a result of the weight of the larger couplings, the need to handle such a wide range of sizes and the complexity of the required motions, a system based on conventional handling techniques would be both uneconomic and lacking in flexibility. The company therefore recommended a system incorporating a Kuka industrial robot.
Key benefits of product application
- All of the major axes of motion are provided by the handling system’s Kuka robot; however, to provide an intuitive user interface, the robot’s automation systems are integrated with an overarching control system based on an Allen-Bradley programmable controller.
- The Linkx system is configured to handle different sizes of coupling, with the user able to select the required size simply by choosing the appropriate option from a menu displayed on a touchscreen.
- The system has increased throughput capacity compared with the manual handling previously used, allowing MP Eastern to keep up with the growth in demand for its services.
- Much greater process consistency has been achieved, which has virtually eliminated the need for costly and time-consuming rework operations.
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