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Monday, 02 September 2013 13:42

Automated Robot Bending Drilling Cell

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Global leader in the design, manufacture and supply of the world's finest tube bending and endforming technologies, AddisonMckee of Lebanon, USA; Brantford, Canada and Bamber Bridge, UK has recently installed an automated cell into a facility in the north of England.

One of the world’s largest international groups dedicated to the design, development and manufacture of metal components and structural systems for the automotive industry. Whilst AddisonMcKee’s unrivalled experience of CNC bending and forming technology made the company’s appointment to supply a fully integrated system a natural one, it was recently completed on time to the customer’s full satisfaction.


Two components were presented to AddisonMckee to process, one required only bending and drilling, but to be produced by a fully automated solution; the other component only needed forming and production was to be manually controlled. (To be automated at a later date.)


The bending cell incorporated a bunker system fed by pallets of cut 34mm diameter tubes, which were unloaded magnetically and processed within a buffer system, to a pick-up point were the tube was seam detected and presented ready for an ABB robot to collect. The robot with a double gripper held the new tube until the eB80bending machine had completed two symmetrical 1 x D bend on bend applications; it then removed the bent tube and inserted the new tube, and the bending process recommenced. The bent tube is then transferred by the robot to a combined inspection gauge and drilling fixture, if the component is deemed to be incorrect it is transferred to a reject chute; otherwise two holes are drilled and the component is transferred to a finished part stillage, which is mounted on a turntable system. When the stillage is full the turntable presents an empty stillage ready for the process to work continuously. Within any automated system, safety and process fault diagnosis are of paramount importance. AddisonMckee worked with and were assisted by Premier Automation to engineer a fully integrated robotic system that met all the customer’s logistics and health and safety requirements.

addison pipe


The component to be formed was a straight 50mm diameter tube that required three AddisonMckee machines to form both ends and trim to length. One end required a flat to be produced by a two hit 70RF machine and the other end required a 70SRF (selectable ram form). The SRF machine used three hits to produce an offset reduction to a size that allowed the 34mm bent tube to be inserted on the final welded assembly. After forming the resultant end deformation was trimmed to the correct length with an FM70TTPN (tube trim with pre-notch).

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