Thompson Friction Welding has deployed the KUKA Titan robot for automated loading and unloading, unwelded and welded axle parts from the Thompson friction welding machine. This welding machine has been installed at the China-based Fuwa’s factory.
The KUKA robot performs a wide range of heavy-duty operations by means of an innovatively developed end effector, showcasing a dual-purpose feature. The robot can hold a group of three unwelded axle components at a time as it undocks a welded axle compilation weighing 160 kg from the welding machine.
After including the group of unwelded axle components into the welding machine, the KUKA robot positions the welded axle assembly on an output conveyor before picking up the subsequent lots from the input conveyor.
The welding machine features a double-ended pattern, facilitating the concurrent performance of two welds for linking the constructed steel banjo to two twisted spindles. Other features of this friction welding machine include a shear flash removal tool and a centring bung, which helps in maintaining the position of the components for accomplishing tight tolerances.
Nick Edge, Global Sales Manager of Thompson Friction Welding, has stated that they had undertaken one of the biggest automation projects, depicting the first-ever integration of a heavy-duty robot into a friction welding system.