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Robotics Case Studies

Adjustable Width Timing Belt Coneyor

by Multiple Product Size Conveying Solutions in an Op
mk North America

Challenge

To provide a conveyor that would accommodate 49 different size bolts while maintaining a common datum. And allow for seamless integration within the robot work cell, all while being operator safe.

Solution

An adjustable width timing belt conveyor, with one set of belt fixtures designed to accommodate all bolt types while providing ample room for the robot tooling so that the grippers and the conveyor belt do not interfere.

Result

A conveyor system that seamlessly integrated into the robotic work cell, allowing the customer to maximize output by conveying all 49 bolt sizes on one conveyor that’s operator safe.

Summary

Unique applications require unique solutions. When a design and builder of custom automation equipment (CAE) was given the task of threading nuts onto 49 different bolts, and then presenting them to be packaged, they came to mk North America, Inc. for a solution.  Additionally, the bolts needed to be fed into the system via an operator.

The CAE presented mk with the scope of the project, including a desired budget and lead-time. The CAE planned on providing a robot which could screw the nuts onto the bolts and place them into a shipping box. From mk they needed a conveyor which was safe and easy for an operator to load, provided stability for bolt sizes ranging from 6.25-inches to 36.25-inches, while properly locating them. Additionally, the conveyor needed to index the bolts precisely into place and be equipped with part fixtures that did not interfere with the robot tooling.

Working off of mk’s standard fixtured timing belt conveyor platform, the ZRF-P 2040, and by reviewing and analyzing past jobs for this CAE, mk North America was able to develop an adjustable width timing belt conveyor, complete with part fixtures. By analyzing the bolt sizes and patterns, fixed width adjustment increments were determined. The driven lane of the conveyor remained fixed in place, and the slave lane of the conveyor moves in and out on a linear slide rail that is equipped with various fixed position stop points.

This collaborative project with the CAE resulted in the end-user being able to fully accomplish their goals.

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