An industrial pump manufacturer needed to improve the efficiency and quality of its grinding process, which was done manually with a power tool. The process was slow, inconsistent and required a lot of physical effort on the part of the operators. In addition, the noise and dust generated by the grinding process negatively affected the working environment.

The solution was to implement a Motoman GP7 robot from Yaskawa, equipped with a pneumatic gripper and a grinding wheel. The robot grips the workpiece and moves it against the grinding wheel, following a programmed path. The robot can adapt to different workpiece shapes and sizes, and perform grinding accurately and quickly. The result is a more efficient, consistent and safer process that reduces cycle time, waste and worker fatigue.

Yaskawa’s Motoman GP7 robot is a compact and versatile robot designed for handling and assembly applications. It has a payload capacity of 7 kg and a maximum reach of 927 mm. Its lightweight structure and optimised design enable it to achieve high speeds and accelerations, resulting in increased productivity. The robot is equipped with a YRC1000 controller, which offers an intuitive and easy-to-use interface, as well as a variety of connectivity and programming options.

Companies using Yaskawa Motoman GP7 robots in the grinding process include:

 Scherzinger Pumpen, a manufacturer of toothed gear pumps for various industrial sectors. The Motoman GP7 robot handles and palletises the components on the grinding machine.

 Yaskawa, the manufacturer of the Motoman GP7 robot itself, which uses it to demonstrate its capabilities and advantages in grinding metal parts.

With more than 80 years of experience, gear pump manufacturer Scherzinger Pumpen specialises in automotive, mechanical, industrial and power plant technologies. Its pumps are capable of dosing two-component adhesives, auxiliary heaters, chemical dosing, turbines and other gear pump needs. To serve a wide variety of applications, its product line comprises gerotor pumps, external or internal gear pumps and vane pumps.

Automation is essential for companies to differentiate themselves and maximise their operations in today’s globalised market. With five facilities on four continents and more than 210 employees, German company Scherzinger Pumpen has implemented an upgrade procedure to progressively drive automation in its manufacturing. By allowing its staff to concentrate on more difficult jobs, they have been able to improve procedures, increase machine efficiency and more effectively maximise the value of their workforce. To load and unload an existing Kellenberger cylindrical grinding machine in the grinding shop, the first automation project was undertaken. Manual loading capabilities for small batches, full accessibility to the set-up via the operator door and compatibility with the operator area of the machine currently in use were part of the requirements profile. Scherzinger Pumpen was able to allocate resources thanks to the new automated procedure.

EGS Automation, a company with extensive experience in automation and robotics, was chosen for its ability to develop and implement customer-specific solutions and offer standardised machine loading systems. The Sumo Multiplex, a 12-fold palletising system based on the paternoster principle, was chosen for Scherzinger. The close-coupled system features Yaskawa’s Motoman GP7 robot, which handles components with a 6-axis articulated arm solution and a payload of 7 kg. This standard solution saves costs and has proven successful in a variety of applications.

The Sumo Multiplex offers fast traverse speed and high accuracy for reliable part changing. It incorporates a side shift device for easy access to the grinding machine and can be repositioned for automatic operation. The machine can handle pumping shafts from 10 to 40 mm in diameter and 100-200 mm in length. Components are loaded and clamped, with a typical machining time of three to five minutes. The large storage volume allows for autonomous operation time of one to several shifts, sometimes even a full weekend, and better utilisation of the machine, allowing more component versions to be processed.

The robot uses a double gripper tool with universal jaws for the workpiece carrier, picking up the axes from a standing position and unloading them in the opposite direction. SPC parts are requested by the operators and unloaded by the robot. Defective parts are deposited in a specific container, and the machine provides this information via an electrical interface. EGS developed and implemented the appropriate counterpart on the automation side of the Sumo Multiplex for seamless communication.

Without the need for tools, the Sumo Multiplex automation system makes it possible to quickly convert various versions of parts. It holds pallets of various heights and intelligently compartmentalises the storage area. The device, according to Scherzinger Pumpen operator Patrick Wehrle, is commendable for streamlining tedious operations and generating new programmes. To combat the lack of trained personnel, production manager Sabrina Löffler stresses the need to assign demanding tasks to committed staff. The method has been effectively deployed to address the shortage of competent staff, and its effectiveness has increased considerably.

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