Machine Tool Automation
Stäubli Robotics Posted 09/11/2013
DUNCAN, SC – Klubert + Schmidt, a prominent supplier of components to manufacturers of commercial vehicles, recently provided a prime example of the extreme demands made on robotics in the loading and unloading of machine tools. It was only with the installation of a sturdy and reliable Stäubli robot that one of the company’s lathes could be automated for continuous and reliable production.
Klubert + Schmidt GmbH is an expert development partner and dependable supplier of exhaust valves and exhaust gas recirculation valves. This family-owned company produces the exhaust valves – also known as exhaust throttle brakes or back pressure brakes – for almost all major manufacturers of commercial vehicles.
Production at the factory in Pottenstein is characterized by a high degree of vertical integration and the pursuit of excellence. The manufacture of the throttle valve, a key component of the exhaust brake, is of course done in-house on modern machining equipment. The key point here is that the throttle valves arrive as blanks and leave the special lathe fully machined. Gerhard Steinhäußer, Deputy Production Manager at Klubert + Schmidt, explains the fundamental role that automation plays in all of this: “Production takes place virtually around the clock. Therefore, it is of the utmost importance that automation of these machines is a totally reliable solution. If the robot breaks down, then it is inevitable that the entire machine will be out of action too.”
The manufacturer has docked a robotic cell to the fully automated machine tool, which not only takes over loading and unloading but also all subsequent work. For almost two years, a six-axis Stäubli type TX90L has been used in this capacity. The Stäubli TX90L has to venture deep into the working area of the machining center to load and unload blanks. The compact design of the six-axis robot is a winner in this respect and impresses with its exemplary precision and ability to work quickly and accurately as it moves inside the machine.
But there is another aspect that Klubert + Schmidt particularly values, as Gerhard Steinhäußer explains: “There were issues with the previous automation set-up employed at this particular machining center where the Stäubli TX90L now does its job so reliably. Aggressive substances – coolants for example – would occasionally cause the previous robot, supplied by a different manufacturer, to break down. Not until we started using the Stäubli robot did the automated process begin to run smoothly.”
Stäubli will be showcasing the latest in robot and toolchanger technology at Fabtech 2013: North America's largest metal forming, fabricating, welding, and finishing event. Be sure to stop by Booth N2673 at Fabtech 2013 in Chicago, Illinois, November 18–21, 2013. Learn more about the event at www.fabtechexpo.com.
Stäubli is a mechatronics solutions provider with three dedicated divisions: Textile Machinery, Connectors and Robotics. With a workforce of 4000, Stäubli has a presence in 25 countries and agents in 50 countries around the world.