Custom Thermal Spray Robotic Welding Workcell Drives Safety and Throughput for Metal Fabricator
Genesis created a custom robotic thermal spray coating workcell that automates the entire metallizing process.
A manufacturer of metal parts needed to automate their thermal spray coating processes. In addition to being so slow they created a bottleneck in production, manual processes were also extremely dangerous due to the high heat involved in thermal spray welding. As a result, training, liability and inefficiencies lead to higher costs.
The thermal spray robotic system had to be capable of withstanding extremely high temperatures without losing functionality. There were several part sizes and heat requirements the system had to account for, and it needed a robust controls package to closely monitor the process while allowing for easy operator interface.
Genesis designed a lathe system to turn the part using a Cone Drive gearbox and VFD. The tailstock adjusted for two different part lengths, and tool changers and torch lighters were designed to enable automatic changeover between the double rosebud torch and the flame spray gun.
The tailstock bearings and the headstock gearbox were separated from the excessive heat with a custom design spacer. Special linear bearing seals were included throughout the design, and a 1500oF robot suit was employed to protect the robot. Guards and covers were strategically placed to deflect heat from reaching the robot, and a side draft heat/smoke extraction wall was included.
Genesis created a system to automate temperature sensing and thickness measurements of the sprayed material. The number of robot passes was then defined and adjusted based upon multiple conditions such has humidity, metallurgy, ambient temperature and the mass of the material.
Genesis delivered a custom robotic thermal spray system that met both the production needs of the manufacturer as well as the technical requirements of the thermal coating process. The robot workcell was successfully protected from the heat and could perform accurately and with repeatability.
The automation solution enabled the manufacturer to improve safety and inefficiencies in their thermal coating processes. Employees were moved away from the heat source and put into more productive roles. The robot worked much faster than manual processes too, which helped the manufacturer eliminate their production bottleneck and improve throughput.
Genesis helped this metal fabricator meet their production goals with a single robotic system customized to fulfill the requirements of their heavy-duty application.