Products used: Automaker changes gears without changing grippers

Original equipment manufacturer Moore Controls used Festo HGPLE electric grippers to help an automaker’s transmission operations eliminate costly changeovers.

03/04/2013


Automation gantry with two Festo servo grippers and V-shaped gripper fingers. The grippers are mounted to a Festo pneumatic cylinder to allow finished part pickup with one gripper and raw part placement with the second gripper. Courtesy: FestoTo meet the imperatives of global manufacturing agility, one of the world’s largest automakers recently tapped Moore Controls, Dexter, Mich., to provide new technology solutions for automated transmission manufacturing. The automaker asked Moore Controls to provide a new material handling system that would transport workpieces through various manufacturing cells, starting with turning steel blanks into finished gears for further assembly. Products used in the project follow. See related article about the application.

Steve Moore, president of Moore Controls, said that to meet the most critical challenge of picking and measuring the right part, the company selected gripper model HGPLE from Festo, Hauppauge, N.Y., the automaker’s preferred supplier. These are parallel, two-finger Festo HGPLE grippers, and use a 24 V dc motor with an encoder designed for electrical controls.

Multiple Festo servo gripper controllers mounted to the automation cell guarding. Courtesy: FestoThe grippers are mounted to standard pneumatic components: Festo Model DNC ISO cylinders for horizontal and vertical part rotation; Festo VTSA valve terminals; and MS-Series air-preparation components.

At each cell a motor controller communicates directly to a Siemens programmable logic controller (PLC) via Profibus network using the ProfiSafe machine safety protocol. The PLC calculates the absolute position of the gripper fingers and sends direct commands to grip and measure each part.

Rear view of set of five Festo servo grippers on automation gantry showing power and communication cables to the grippers. Courtesy: FestoThe overall solution, a hybrid of electromechanical (HPGLE) grippers supported by pneumatic components, is unified in its use of standard control components. Components include Festo’s modular CPX I/O system, designed for fieldbus networking with electrical and pneumatic controls and Festo’s VTSA I/O valve terminal interface.

The automaker is “pretty darned happy with the results, from what we’ve heard,” said Fletch Davidson, salesman at Moore’s Festo distributor, Shaltz Automation, Flint, Mich. “They have more than 20 automation programs underway that I know of, and I wouldn’t be surprised if this project leads to more for Moore Controls.”

Moore says the project has led to “quite a bit” of growth, and exposed his company to a broader network of machine tool builders that may lead to further new business opportunities.

 - Bryan Morehouse is automotive industry project engineer, Festo. Edited by Mark T. Hoske, content manager, CFE Media, Control Engineering, Plant Engineering, and Consulting-Specifying Engineer, mhoske(at)cfemedia.com

Online

www.moorecontrols.net 

www.festo.com/us 

www.shaltzautomation.com 



No comments
The Engineers' Choice Awards highlight some of the best new control, instrumentation and automation products as chosen by...
Each year, a panel of Control Engineering editors and industry expert judges select the System Integrator of the Year Award winners.
Control Engineering Leaders Under 40 identifies and gives recognition to young engineers who...
Learn more about methods used to ensure that the integration between the safety system and the process control...
Adding industrial toughness and reliability to Ethernet eGuide
Technological advances like multiple-in-multiple-out (MIMO) transmitting and receiving
Virtualization advice: 4 ways splitting servers can help manufacturing; Efficient motion controls; Fill the brain drain; Learn from the HART Plant of the Year
Two sides to process safety: Combining human and technical factors in your program; Preparing HMI graphics for migrations; Mechatronics and safety; Engineers' Choice Awards
Detecting security breaches: Forensic invenstigations depend on knowing your networks inside and out; Wireless workers; Opening robotic control; Product exclusive: Robust encoders
The Ask Control Engineering blog covers all aspects of automation, including motors, drives, sensors, motion control, machine control, and embedded systems.
Join this ongoing discussion of machine guarding topics, including solutions assessments, regulatory compliance, gap analysis...
News and comments from Control Engineering process industries editor, Peter Welander.
IMS Research, recently acquired by IHS Inc., is a leading independent supplier of market research and consultancy to the global electronics industry.
This is a blog from the trenches – written by engineers who are implementing and upgrading control systems every day across every industry.
Anthony Baker is a fictitious aggregation of experts from Callisto Integration, providing manufacturing consulting and systems integration.
Integrator Guide

Integrator Guide

Search the online Automation Integrator Guide
 

Create New Listing

Visit the System Integrators page to view past winners of Control Engineering's System Integrator of the Year Award and learn how to enter the competition. You will also find more information on system integrators and Control System Integrators Association.

Case Study Database

Case Study Database

Get more exposure for your case study by uploading it to the Control Engineering case study database, where end-users can identify relevant solutions and explore what the experts are doing to effectively implement a variety of technology and productivity related projects.

These case studies provide examples of how knowledgeable solution providers have used technology, processes and people to create effective and successful implementations in real-world situations. Case studies can be completed by filling out a simple online form where you can outline the project title, abstract, and full story in 1500 words or less; upload photos, videos and a logo.

Click here to visit the Case Study Database and upload your case study.