Workhandling System can move in curved motions.

Press Release Summary:

RoboLoop® gantry robot system transfers different parts among several robot carriers simultaneously at high speeds, allowing fully interlinked production between machining operations. It works overhead or at floor level using cantilever, single axis, 2-axis, or H-loader modules. RoboLoop® utilizes drip tray area as parts buffer area for storage of components, eliminating need for separate storage buffer located next to machines.

Original Press Release:

Durr Automation Utilizes RoboLoop® Workhandling System

Curve-Enabled Design Allows for Maximum Layout Flexibility

Wixom, MI, October, 2002

Durr Automation has recently begun providing customers with the option of purchasing the RoboLoop® System, characterized as a gantry robot that offers two substantially superior features - the ability to transfer different parts among several robot carriers simultaneously at high speeds, even around curves; while at the same time being uniquely designed to allow maximum system layout flexibility.

The RoboLoop® is ideally suited for users who require multiple, high-speed transfer applications in a minimum of floorspace, and to customers with long-range plans for expansion or possible reconfiguration of their plant layout.

Classic process line and in-line work cells are limited by their straight-line, point-to-point configurations, while the RoboLoop® allows fully interlinked production between machining operations. The ability to move in curved motions means there is no longer a need for expensive transfer stations like on traditional gantry systems. There is no limit to the numbers of linked machines or to the sequence of operations.

The RoboLoop® system works either overhead or at floor level, keeping floor aisles clear for open traffic.

The design allows for future additions of carriages, expansion of rail system and reconfiguration of the layout. The RoboLoop® modules are capable of handling a mix of different parts, and carriers are interchangeable.

The RoboLoop® modules are offered in a variety of configurations - Cantilever, single axis (floor or ceiling), two axis, H-loader - with or without added robot.

RoboLoop® utilizes the drip tray area as parts buffer area for storage of components in various stages of manufacturing, eliminating the need for a separate storage buffer located next to machines. Instead, conveyors are located in front of machines; and because parts are loaded directly from above, the robots can straddle either side of the storage system, thereby maximizing utilization of storage space. For example, stored engine blocks can be accessed from either side of a double rack storage system by an overhead gantry.

Service advantages of the RoboLoop® include maintenance spurs for easy access for maintenance personnel, reducing labor costs. Another service feature is the ability to isolate and perform various maintenance functions without disrupting the entire production. Reliability is also increased due to the sharing of workload between several robot carriers - using fewer machines leads to better machine utilization and reduced floorspace requirements. Quality management is eased through electronic communication, and CNC programs can be downloaded through a PC network, minimizing costs and errors.

Durr Ecoclean has already provided RoboLoop® modules for the loading and unloading of gear cutting machines in loop configuration, load/unload of milling machines in loop configuration, and load/unload of crankshaft cutting machines in loop configuration utilizing automatic gripper set-up.

Durr Automation Inc. is a member of the Durr Ecoclean Group of companies - the world's largest supplier of automation systems, cleaning technology and filtration equipment/technologies to the automotive industry. The Durr Ecoclean Group operates under the umbrella of the strategic management holding company, Durr AG
headquartered in Stuttgart, Germany.

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