This project starts from Bisiach and Carru's existing Mobile Gantry Robot. Their big, 3 polar-axes, hollow-head robot was originally devised for spot-welding, with a huge structure, a big operating volume (about 600 m3) and many specific features for this process. This is the most complex welding process, because of the high currents, magnetic field and loads of operating welding groups which are involved.
The basic robot already includes an automatic gun-changer and tools-magazine already planned for all necessary fluids (cooling-water, compressed-air, oil, eletrics and electronic connections for sensors, secondary current, etc.).
The project aims at integrating other different technologies in the robot, to be used in the same work-station, with the same jigs in line with the total quality concept to transform the robot into a total flexibility polytechnlogical Universal Robotic Production Centre.
Under a general point of view the most significant achievements of Flexbotic welding system are actually addressed to automotive industry:
- a complete analysis of the car bodies production processes, aimed to their optimisation, due to the positive reaction to the newly proposed Robcad and results (reached by Bisiach & Carru), whose exploitation can be immediate not only for Flexbotic but for robots new perspectives and realisations;
- a fruitful simulation of the layout of the new system and the acquisition of a wide range of standards required by the customers;
- quality assurance reached by mean of the sensing and measuring subsystems developed within the frame of Flexbotic, on the programmes generation (carried out at Bisiach & Carru and APS by their respective researchers in both the laboratories);
- the already available simulation of the final prototype, concerning the whole welding Flexbotic system.
To do this,three possible end-users will collaborate in the project for three years, with their experience in different welding technologies in relatively low and diversified car production - MERCEDES ESPANA, PININFARINA and STEYR-DAIMLER-PUCH.
The planned technologies for the project which are to be integrated in the robot are, among others; spot welding-direct/indirect, with gun (simple and multiple up to 4 guns), with tip (simple and double) in d.c. current, seam-roll welding, projection welding, MIG-welding, bolt-welding, rivetting and other operations with working elements for sheet-metalworking.
The advantages would be :
-a polytechnological robot system including several technologies in the same cycle and in the same work-station.
-increase in the quality of the final product.
-reduction of production time.
-extension of the client's potential market.
-off-line programming, increased safety.
-general increase in logistical flexibility.