In today’s cutting-edge technology there’s virtually no place where electrical components aren’t being in use ranging from tiny embedded system to NASA space probes. As Moore’s law is approaching nearer, the ever increasing demand for power and smaller integrated components are emerging at never-before-seen rate. And in any integrated system, wire harnessing and assembly seems undeniable. Where human capacity to handle these insurmountable task seems impossible, automated robotic assembly system is enabling us with fast and accurate assembly for electrical wire harnessing.
One such fully automated robotic assembly system for electrical wire harnesses was developed by a company named Clear Automation. The system consists of 4 overhead-mounted FANUC LR Mate 200iD robots, a FANUC M-10iA robot, as well as custom winding, wire handling, and connecting mechanisms that produce six different harnesses ranging from 20 to 200 feet in length. It produces six electrical harness assemblies per minute.
Figure: FANUC LR Mate 200iD robots at work
An LR Mate 200iD robot picks new wire from the de-coiler, clamps it into place in a winding head, and the machine winds the wire to the appropriate length as selected by the operator through the HMI. Once the appropriate length is coiled, the wire cutters snip the wire, and the LR Mate handles the end of the wire back into a clamp within the winding head so that the coil doesn’t unravel. One LR Mate is responsible for two turntables that include six coil winding heads. After the coils are wrapped in plastic, they are moved to the FANUC M-10iA robot. The FANUC M-10iA robot picks a coil and presents it to a heater.
Figure: FANUC M-10iA
As previously mentioned, the system handles six different lengths of wire assemblies. Therefore each pallet needs to be automatically adjusted to fit the proper coil size. To do this, a height sensor relays information to a servo, which sets the appropriate pallet height for each individual coil.
The pallets of coil move down a conveyor to two LR Mate 200iDs, designated for deploying inner and outer wire ends. The wire ends will eventually be cut to length, stripped of insulation, straightened, and inserted into connectors.
The coils then move to an inspection station. The vision system checks the wires for length, straightness, and shape. The coil is also checked for continuity before being placed on the finished conveyor.
Finished windings travel down the conveyor to the end of the system process where an LR Mate picks finished windings and places them on a conveyor out of the system. Rejected windings are place on a separate reject chute; Coils could be rejected if they lack continuity.