Robotic Welding Workcell for Tommy Gate Eliminates Bottlenecks in Liftgate Production
Genesis’s automated welding solution helped a first-time robot user eliminate bottlenecks and achieve ROI.
Tommy Gate, an automotive manufacturer of liftgates for trucks, was having difficulty welding lift arm parts for their liftgates. The welding process was taking up too much time for their welders, who were needed for other more difficult welding tasks.
Tommy Gate produces approximately 50,000 of the lift arms per year, making them a low to medium volume manufacturer, but they still had a higher mix of parts than most businesses in their industry. This made the question of whether robotic automation would make sense for them a difficult one.
Implementing a single robotic welding workcell for a first-time robot user that would automate several low-volume welding processes and still produce a return on investment (ROI).
Genesis integrated a Versa RC3L robotic welding workcell. The patented cell design features a center-mount robot in an H frame that holds the welding fixtures. The frame rotates to allow simultaneous welding and safe loading/unloading of parts.
The system’s positioners had a 72 inch tooling length, and a reamer and antispatter sprayer for the torch were added to help keep the cell functioning at peak performance. Genesis provided custom fixturing to accommodate Tommy Gate’s need for welding several different parts.
Genesis delivered a system that met all the welding needs Tommy Gate had and even exceeded their initial expectations. The robotic welding workcell freed up the time of several other welders, which allowed them to work on more challenging welding processes.
Automated welding provided significant accuracy and repeatability advantages over manual welding processes. The welder who performed this duty before automation was tasked with operating the robotic workcell – monitoring all robotic welding to ensure the highest quality.
In the end, the robotic welding workcell eliminated the production bottleneck Tommy Gate was experiencing. Despite the low-volume production, high mix of parts and only one daily shift of operation, the workcell still provided ROI for Tommy Gate. In fact, it proved its worth enough times over that they can now justify further investments in automation as they seek higher and higher productivity.