Company Increases Throughput and Time-to-Market with Robotic Assembly System
by Val Cureton
Adept Technology, Inc.
About two years ago, Murr Elektronik found itself facing a growing demand for its electronic products. The company needed to increase throughput and time-to-market, but it was already having trouble controlling manufacturing expenses. Companyexecutives needed a way to control manufacturing costs without relocating their facilities to areas with lower labor costs and without layoffs.
Murr chose to install a robot-based workcell to replace the workers assigned to the manual assembly station freeing employees to be trained for more advanced tasks. The workcell is built around Adept's 550 SCARA robot, MV Controller, AdeptVision VME vision system and V+ software. In addition, the system incorporates a bowl feeder that feeds components to the robot's gripper, which can pick up three components at a time and place them on a printed circuit board in the correct configuration.
The vision system is part of what makes Murr's application possible. Its automated inspection, measurement and motion guidance features enable the robot to "see" each component in order to pick it up and position it accurately on the printed circuit board. The system software is programmed to automatically calibrate the vision system, which was important to Murr from an ease-of-use standpoint.