Automatic Sprag Clutch Assembly

InvotecCase Study, Complex Assembly Equipment, Machine Vision Systems, Mechanical Assembly Systems

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Overview

Designed and installed a new, fully automatic assembly and test system to assemble multiple models of sprag style, automotive clutch assemblies. A single machine chassis was desired with a pair of synchronous transfer systems coupled by an accumulating conveyor. Model change-over requirements included both automatic and manual operations with tooling and position feedback at all set points to verify correct model setups.

PROBLEMS WE SOLVE

Our customer needed a partner capable to design, build and install a large fully automatic assembly and test system that would assemble multiple models of sprag style, automotive clutches. The machine chassis and a pair of synchronous transfer systems would need to be coupled with an accumulating conveyor. Model change-over required both automatic and manual operations.

TOOLS WE USE

This equipment included cam operated lift-and-carry systems equipped with pneumatic, large-range grippers to transfer assemblies in sequence from one operation to the next. Using a combination of adjustable feeders, multiple set points and three sets of tooling, the system was able to assemble four sprag clutch models at a time.

This system also included tooling and position feedback at all set points to verify correct model setups. Each station was supplied as a modular unit with the ability to change and verify the selected tooling was in place and that part configurations were setup correctly for the for the model in production.

The assembly and test operations started by automatically feeding outer and inner races on conveyors, magazine feed washers, end caps, snap rings, and sprag sub-assemblies. Then the machine vision inspected the orientation and position of each sprag in the sub-assembly, as well as a push-out check on completed assemblies. All accepted assemblies were automatically separated, marked, unloaded and accumulated.

These technologies were used to create this custom machine:

  • Servo Motion Control
  • Integrated Vision Dimensional & Profile Inspections
  • Synchronous Part Transfer System
  • Hydraulic Pressing
SOLUTIONS WE PROVIDE

This solution reduced overall floor space by using a single machine platform. Material handling efficiency was improved and accurate placement was obtained through the use of automatic tooling, feeding and transfer systems. Overall operating capacity was increased by integrating part feeding magazines and buffer storage systems with the ability to handle large quantities of parts. This maximized the replenishment and packing time intervals.

Our customer was able to entrust us to deliver a turnkey, fully automatic system which enabled their success in delivering a quality product, on time, to their customer.

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