Project Duration: 4 months
Client: 1 engineer
Concept Systems: 4 engineers
Concept Systems’ time on site: 2 weeks
• Fanuc M-710iC Series Robot
• ServoRobot Tool Changer
• PushCorp High Torque Servo Toolholder
• Tool Changing Station
• 4 Custom Built Part Fixtures
• Safety Interlocked System Guarding: Light Curtain, Area Scanner, Dust Hood
Headquartered in the United Kingdom, Meggitt PLC is an international group employing some 8,000 people specializing in aerospace equipment, high performance sensors, defence training and combat systems. Meggitt Polymers & Composites, in McMinnville, OR focusses on delivering gaskets and seals to rigorous standards to be used by some of the world’s leading manufactures.
Meggitt Polymers & Composites had an opportunity to expand their business with a current client, but to do so, they would have to increase production by means other than human labor. Historically, the work on these parts was being done manually in a labor intensive manner. Production rates were limited to an average of 1000 parts per year, but needed to increase production by 300%, or 3000 parts per year, to meet demand. In addition to throughput, accuracy and safety were of high concern.
“A lot of these operations were being done by hand, and we were missing holes,” James Robertson, Meggitt’s vice president of operations, said in a recent news article featuring the project. “This enabled us to simplify the process and improve our quality.”
Concept Systems kicked off the project by meeting with the project manager at Meggitt, to first understand their operations, concerns and goals, ensuring the right solution was delivered based on measurable results and a favorable return on investment. Once the objectives, timelines, and goals were established, Concept moved forward with the design of the workcell.
The system that Concept created for the drill and cutting project is a fully automated workcell featuring a Fanuc M-710 Robot. The workcell boasts an integrated tool changer that provides seamless interchange of tools, allowing continuous production of the desired hole shape and size for 8 different parts. Further, Concept designed end-of-arm tooling to accommodate 14 automated, interchangeable options for drilling and cutting. To support flexibility of the workcell, Concept also designed and provided fixture racks to accommodate 8 different parts. All of this was under the direction of a thorough risk assessment based on ANSI/RIA R1506-2012: safety first design of the workcell and all components.
The workcell has now been in production for over 6 months and the initial results show that the project was a success. Meggitt has expanded their production capacity to 3000 parts per year – a 300% increase as per the project goal. Meggitt has also achieved high precision and repeatability from the robot and tools which significantly reduced rework and product loss. Last, the physical guard fencing, door interlocks, and area scanners provide the latest in worker protection.