Martinrea set a clear goal for itself: to be the world’s best auto parts supplier. To achieve its objective, the global company and employer of roughly 15 000 people decided to equip its first large-scale press line in Mexico (at its facility in Silao) with a blank loader and multiple Crossbar Robot 4.0 units, thereby gaining the ability to provide its customers with maximum flexibility.
The blank loader is ideal for outer skin parts, as state-of-the-art cleaning and oiling systems ensure outstanding component quality. The new optical line scanner from Schuler detects the precise position of the blanks before they are loaded into the first press. A Crossbar Robot then corrects the position as needed.
The Crossbar Robots 4.0 are the centerpiece of Martinrea’s press line in Silao. They transport the parts directly from one press station to the next, and can accurately position these parts for any die. Especially where multi-part components are produced, this flexibility delivers an unbeatable advantage.
Since the Crossbar Robot is hung on a track, it can cover distances of up to twelve meters between press stations. Distances this large are mainly found on older lines, where space was provided for an unloading or turning station. This means that the new Crossbar Robot can replace loading feeders, unloading feeders and part orientation stations in the gap between presses. This frees up more space for maintenance and reduces the number of toolings per gap from three to one. At the same time, it also provides a significant boost in output.
Crossbar Robot 4.0 increases flexibility and output
The Crossbar Robot is based on a six-axis industrial robot that was expanded by Schuler engineers to include two additional axes: one for the hand of the robot arm and one for the horizontal drive. This enhancement significantly increases the robot’s range of motion, flexibility and output. The maximum load capacity, including the tooling, is 90 kilograms. Thanks to an innovative energy management system with integrated energy recovery, the new robot is 50% more energy-efficient than its predecessor, the 3.0 model. For blank loaders and Crossbar Robots, Schuler provides a wide range of solutions for an automated tooling change that can be performed fully automatically in just two minutes.
With its process data interface, the new Crossbar Robot comes perfectly pre-equipped for Industry 4.0. Thanks to its intelligent networkability, this robot functions as an analysis tool that monitors processes and provides information about any errors that may occur.