A manual welding station was to be removed from Danfoss' production. At the station, operators performed monotonous work. Danfoss imagined a robot cell that - when being fed with components - would take care of itself. The solution is a cobot that could be quickly and easily integrated into the existing production line.
One of the advantages of using a collaborative robot is that it does not require shielding. Furthermore, cobots are easier to feed with new components, as it is designed to work with people. The cobot at Danfoss assembles two parts (pipe and ring) and prepares the components for welding by dipping the assembly into a liquid before moving it to the welding machine.
Operator safety has been a key focus area for Danfoss. The cobot is programmed to move the tool if the operator is in the way. In addition, the use of the robot cell requires minimal training. If the robot stops for example, a push of a button returns the robot to normal operation.
Danfoss engineers technologies that enable the world of tomorrow to do more with less. Danfoss' products are used in areas such as refrigeration, air conditioning, heating, motor control and mobile machinery. Danfoss is a world-leader employing more than 25,000 employees and serving customers in more than 100 countries.
Eltronic Industrial Innovation was tasked with making the complete hardware and software solution. Danfoss did not require high speed, which meant that the choice of robot fell on the collaborative robot UR5 from Universal Robots.
Remove the manual monotonous work performed at a welding station, by implementing an UR5 cobot solution.
Major requirements where:
- Must interface / work with existing welding machine
- Rapid implementation into existing production
- Handle multiple variants of tubes and welding rings
- Must take care of it self, and only need operator involvement when refilling components or changing variant
- Must be safe to work next to the robot and it's tool
- UR5 Cobot
- Impact feeling robot and tool
- AnyFeeder solution for feeding welding rings
- Cartridge type tube trays, loaded by the operator
- Flux level detection by robot tool sensor
- "System on a plate" - only needs calibration towards welding machine when implemented
- Manual tool-change with built in correct tool detection
- Fever operational costs per product
- Short payback period
- Removed monotonous manual labor
- Operator safety ensured
- Low cost tool-changing; handles all variants
- Fast implementation into current production
This is the first Collaborative Robot (Universal Robot) that we have implemented in our Kolding Factory. The main driver of the project was to get a common understanding of what a collaborative robot is, throughout the whole organization. Especially between project management, production technology, operators and the safety department. That part of the project has been a big success, and everyone have a good feeling on Collaborative Robot solutions.
The robot is implemented and operate in the same area as the operator and takes over some of the physically stressed processes from the operator. We don’t have any other safety devices than the safety system in the robot itself.
To give us some input on the safety issues regarding collaborative robot solutions we had a meeting at Eltronic where we had invited Teknologisk Institut as a facilitator. That gave us, and Eltronic, a good idea on how to make a Risk assessment on these solutions.
Peter Lundø Hansen
Senior Project Manager, MT Project Region EMA
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Morten Svendsen Nordli
VP Production Systems