Case Study

Robotic Automation Line for Appliance Manufacturer

Project Snapshot

The owner of an automation company was challenged by a leading appliance manufacturer with a project to automate the assembly of a new oven design. The assembly process involved part picking, welding, verification / inspection and assembly of the components onto the chassis of the next generation residential oven. The client needed to engage a reliable partner to develop the design of a robotic work cell assembly system so that they could generate the revenue associated with the fabrication, assembly, controls and installation of the production line.

Project Size

$490K

Duration

25 Weeks

Project Team

12 Engineers

Industry

Machinery Manufacturing

Project Challenges

Client did not have the team expertise / capacity to deliver a project of this scale within the schedule needed by the end client.
Project kick off started after the New Year and a full engineering documentation set needed to be released to manufacturing within 16 weeks.
13 robotic work cells including vision systems needed to be designed and detailed for fabrication.

Sterling’s Solution

Sterling’s team included a Project manager which served as a liaison between mangement teams and Lead Project Engineers that coordinated the design/detailing effort over around the clock shifts to compress the delivery schedule.
At the kick-off meeting, Sterling worked with the client to sort through the sequence of operation needed to achieve the end client’s cycle time. The workflow layout was discussed to determine how to break down the system into modules with no fly zones so that engineering design could begin. Sterling worked with the client to specify the robots that could move the part masses throught the kinematic motions needed to meet the production rate.
Because of the size of the design team required, Sterling’s team focused on producing the main layout, full assembly drawings, bill of materials, detailed part drawings and timing diagrams for release to manufacturing. This allowed the client take on the project and generate the revenue associatd with the fabrication, assembly and installation of the production line.
The system was designed with Solidworks 3D-CAD assembly models, detailed part drawings, timing charts and installation assembly drawings. These tools allowed Sterling to verify robotic tool interference resulting in a safe and efficicent process layout. The automation line (13 Robotic / Vision work cell modules) was comprised of the following:

  • Part Feed
  • Part / feature verification / inspection
  • Spot and Seam Welding
  • Vision inspection / quality
  • Robot end effectors
  • Work holding
  • Robotic Palletizing

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