ISMR February 2024 | Page 47


Above and right : Yaskawa robots as part of the automated handling and welding system for ledger production .
welding parameters , optical seam inspection using cameras , and length and angle measurement . Final palletising for onward transport is fully automated , as is the entire system operation . Only one operator per shift is required to monitor the processes .
By using multiple welding stations in parallel , the system can produce more than one thousand ledgers per shift . The plant was designed to PERI ’ s specifications with optimum use of space . The very complex , space-optimised design is only possible by implementing a wide variety of robot arrangements , such as the use of gantry systems .
On the software side , the FSU safety controller developed and used by Yaskawa- Motoman has been designed to ensure that the overlapping , and often parallel , robot sequences run safely and without collision . The control technology is located on a gallery above the component feed .
Complex processes
The base profiles are fed into the system automatically via stanchions where they are separated , marked and measured in the next work step . In a further station , the components , bolt head and wedge are fed in by handling robots . After the wedge and bolt head have been joined , the bolt head is welded using the MAG process and the weld quality is then checked inline .
In addition to the coarse forging tolerances of the bolt heads and wedges , the main challenge is the handling of the different profile lengths ( which range from 250 to 3,000mm ). The different component lengths are handled by automatic gripper changing systems .
All relevant process and system data is displayed on a custom-designed Yaskawa digital platform in the form of a dashboard on a central monitor .
A total of 18 robots work “ hand-in-hand ” in the new PERI plant : six precision Motoman MH5LS welding robots , each with a payload of 5kg , and a further twelve MH robots with a daily payload of up to 180kg . The latter perform a wide range of feeding and handling tasks . Two of them carry the camera systems for automatic component inspection .
The entire system was designed and built by Yaskawa . It is representative of the welding
systems of all sizes that Yaskawa has been building at its factory in Allershausen near Munich , Germany , for around four decades . The Allershausen site has just been expanded to include an additional 10,000 square-metre hall for systems engineering .
Meeting expectations
PERI and Yaskawa have been working together successfully now for over 30 years . Thanks to their combined system expertise , Yaskawa ’ s robot specialists were able to solve all the tasks involved in commissioning the new horizontal ledger welding system at Günzburg .
“ The system is simply very complex and sophisticated , but it is also very good ,” summed up Stephan Schraml from PERI . “ In the meantime , it has been in operation almost without a hitch and the robots have been very reliable .” n
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