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Effortless handling of Stub knuckle on the machining line

HomeSuccess StoryEffortless handling of Stub knuckle on the machining line

Success Story

A Kolkata based manufacturer and global supplier of die forgings had a requirement of a solution for carrying stub knuckles, a component of car axle assembly, from 1 machine to other and it was a difficult task as the weight of a stub knuckle could be as high as 40 -50 kg. They were already using FH&A’s manipulators for a similar application, so they placed an order of another 4 similar manipulators with a slight modification.
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Challenge & Innovations

PROCESS

The requirement of manipulators was to clamp and carry stub knuckles and load them into the turning machine. Then further load them to HMC for machining process and finally unload them on output trolley.

The detailed process is as given below:

  • The stub knuckle present on trolley in a horizontal position
  • Clamp stub knuckle at it’s body and load it to turning centre in vertical position
  • Unload stub knuckle and place it on trolley
  • Clamp stub knuckle at it’s top – Load it to HMC 1 for machining process in horizontal position – Unload
  • Clamp stub knuckle at it’s top – Load it to HMC 2 for machining process in horizontal position
  • Unload stub knuckle and place it on trolley

Lifting, handling, clamping, moving of Stub Knuckle made easy

CHALLENGE

The biggest challenging part in this process was gripping- especially at the top of the stub knuckles for horizontal loading, as the lengths and angles of the arms of stub knuckles are not symmetrical.

SOLUTION

FH&A developed a pneumatically operated manipulator which can lift, carry, load and unload stub knuckle. They provided total 4 manipulators ( 2 for turning center and machining center each) with PU clamping pads.

Clamping
The manipulator for turning process was designed in such a way that it will clamp the knuckle on its shaft and load it vertically into the machine.

The manipulators for machining process was designed in such a way that they will clamp the knuckle at it’s top- between the arms and load it horizontally into the machine.

For clamping Stub Knuckles at the top, FH&A team provided movable grippers, which can be adjusted automatically as per requirement. Facility of tilting cylinders was also provided, for horizontal loading.

Ensuring Safety
For safety of operators FH&A provided many safety features to these manipulators. 2 limit switches were provided to sense weight of knuckle.

So if both the switches get actuated, then only clamping is possible in these manipulators.

Other features like dual hand safety and NRV for balancing were also included.

Safety Features

  • A manipulator was equipped with a sensor to ensure proper clamping of the component.
  • Specialized J type clamps were developed which will hold the component in case of air failure
  • Double hand clamping to ensure operator alertness
  • De-clamping controls were provided on the other side of the control panel to avoid accidental de-clamping.

Industrial Manipulators | Fine Handling and Automation
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