2009

Fanuc Painting Robot Boosts Production for Metal Finisher

Classic Metal Finishing, based in Jackson, Mich., supplies components for the aerospace, motorcycle, racing, and medical industries. The plant was purchased in February, 2008 by Classic Metal Finishing and Classic Turning. Classic Turning performs high-end CNC machining of components and Classic Metal Finishing performs anodizing and dry film lubricant applications. Classic Metal Finishing’s anodizing line can anodize with two different types for corrosion inhibitor resistance, and can die aluminum in eight different colors. Dry film lubricant is applied to parts to help with high friction tolerance fits and moving assemblies.

altToday, Classic Metal Finishing’s team leaders have 25 years of experience in manufacturing and engineering. According to Phil Morrison, plant manager of Classic Metal Finishing, “Classic Metal Finishing and Classic Turning is a one-stop job shop, we machine from the raw material to the metal finish to deliver complete components to the customer.”

Classic Metal Finishing’s total machine process solution, provided by Thierica Equipment Corp., Grand Rapids, Mich., includes two Fanuc Robotics Paint Mate 200iA robots in a table-top paint booth design. “It’s a great compact system that uses minimal floor space,” said Morrison.

Thierica Equipment Corp. and Phil Morrison had worked together for over 12 years to pioneer systems that sprayed dry film lubricant to the outside diameter (OD) and inside diameter (ID) of many industry parts using a two-axis (x,z, tilt) fixed-gun spray machine. In late 2008, Classsic Metal Finishing began discussing the purchase of automated machines. Thierica Equipment Corp. presented an alternate solution to incorporate Fanuc Robotics’ new Paint Mate 200iA mini-paint robot.

The Paint Mate 200iA is Fanuc Robotics’ latest and smallest six-axis coating robot designed to meet the automation needs of a various industries, including aerospace, alternative energy, automotive component, appliance, agricultural equipment, consumer goods, plastics and many others. The Paint Mate 200iA has a payload capacity of 5kg and a reach of 704mm; a longer reach version, the Paint Mate 200iA/5L, is available with a reach of 892mm. Ideal for small part applications, the Paint Mate 200iA is a cost-effective replacement for fixed automation. In addition, it is approved for FM and ATEX Hazardous locations, Class I, II, III and Div. 1 environments.

The Fanuc Robotics R-30iA Controller and iPendant offer a multi-window color display, which allows easy input and adjustment of system parameters and provides quick access to built-in diagnostic and help information. Custom user-developed screens and messaging, and the iPendant’s ability to access specific work instructions and machine setups on the plant network maximize overall system uptime and productivity.

Thierica Equipment Corp.’s spray system design used an AB PLC with a touch screen that is able to handle one thousand jobs, which is well suited for communication with Fanuc Robotics’ R-30iA robot controller. The operator’s end of the two-position index table has a pair of safety light curtains for intrusion detection. Once the job is selected, the operator simply adjusts the gun spray to a predetermined setting, loads the part into the machine, and selects the finger sensor start button.

Thierica Equipment Corp. designed an end-of-arm-tool capable of spraying with two guns and a quick tool change capability. The two-position index table has twin spindles, rpm control for spindle speed, and adjustable fan air dials on each gun. The integrated two-position index table and Paint Mate 200iA robot system handles components sized from 3⁄16" to 5" diameter, and is capable of spraying two types of material and two different part configurations with any combination. For example, it can apply a type of dry film lubricant to the ID of the component, and a second type of dry film lubricant to a section of the component’s OD.

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