Midas Improves Productivity with Robotic Welding Cell
by Rich Shive
Panasonic Factory Solutions Company
Midas International is a leading manufacturer and supplier of automotive tailpipe and exhaust systems.
According to Robert Mack, manufacturing engineer at Midas, their task was to replace old robot welding stations and manual stations with state-of-the-art robotic welding cells that would provide safe operation, achieve high production rates, and maintain industry-leading quality.
Midas turned to Linox Gas Tech (Hillside, Illinois) and Panasonic for the solution. The PerformArc 300 and AW-010C robot not only met the requirements of safety, quality, and productivity, but far exceeded them.
The PerformArc 300, is a six-axis robot with a Ferris wheel-style positioner. Three independent AC servo-motor controls, assure that the motion of the Ferris wheel and the head stock/tail stocks are precise, reliable, and repeatable which ensures quality. The true welding cycle time is faster with this arrangement and there is less chance of breakdown and maintenance.
Other important features of the cell are a fully integrated safety-first environment, which includes fencing, an interlock gate preventing unsafe access to the cell, weld screen barriers and an operator safety zone. A PLC-based safety control function checks all safety-related parameters before releasing the system to the operator.
- Midas demonstrated an increase in production of up to 50% on some pipes.
- They were able to rapidly program hundreds of more than 2,000 parts into the new welding system.