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Frai Elektromaschinenbau Gesellschaft m.b.H
Bundesstraße 37
4817 St. Konrad

Tel: +43 7615 - 8390
Fax: +43 7615 - 8390 - 40
Mail: office(at)frai.at

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The expert for tailor-made automation solutions

With their tailor-made automation solutions for complete machining centers, WFL and FRAI stand for the highest level of competence. It is not just the automation system itself that is a decisive factor, but the fact that the entire automation package comes from a single source. Moreover, only components of highest quality are used. In combination with the new robot cell, the Kuka robot KR FORTEC, with its slimmer design, high precision and durability, increases productivity and thus underpins the quality standards of WFL and FRAI.

The cell is equipped with a Kuka heavy-duty robot from the FORTEC series and a camera system, which is sealed off from extraneous light. Both are travelling on a linear axis. There is also a pallet staging area, an automatic gripper change system and a re-gripping station for chuck and shaft parts.
The raw parts are brought manually into the robot‘s work area by means of loaded pallets. The position of the raw parts on the pallets is recognized by a camera and converted into the gripping position of the robot by means of a special software. The robot itself is equipped with an automatic gripper change system and can therefore automatically change the grippers between chuck and shaft parts. Furthermore, the storage capacity is significantly higher since no space is required for the gripper fingers. When processing shaft parts, the presence and position of the raw part in the gripper are checked by means of a light barrier, after picking up a raw part from the pallet. In the case of chuck parts, however, the presence of the workpiece is checked by monitoring the gripper position.
The stroke monitoring of the gripping jaws and the presence monitoring of the interim storage area ensure that a workpiece has been picked up.

Automation process for shaft parts (single gripper principle):
After picking up the raw part from the pallet, its exact position in the gripper is determined by means of a laser light barrier. Its orientation is determined by probing (moving against a springloaded and position-monitored tip) the two differently deep centering holes of the raw part. Afterwards, the raw part is placed in the correct position in the interim storage area next to the machine door opening.
The robot then moves to the waiting position in front of the machine door with an empty gripper. After receiving the signal for part removal, the robot takes the finished part out of the machine and places it on the interim storage in front of the machine. Now it picks up the previously prepared raw part and loads the machine. The robot then removes the finished part from the interim storage and places it on the pallet for finished parts.

Automation process for chuck parts (double gripper principle):
The robot uses a gripper to pick up a raw part from the pallet and places it on the interim storage. The robot then performs an automatic gripper change. With the centric gripper for raw parts, the robot picks up the previously stored raw part from the interim storage and carries out the part change in the machine. After machining the component in  the machine, the machine door opens and the robot can remove the finished part from the counter spindle. While the machine cleans the clamping device and transfers the semi-finished part from the main spindle to the counter spindle, the robot positions the gripper and puts the new raw part in the left clamping device of the machine. The finished part is placed on the finished part pallet. The robot subsequently transfers the next raw part from the raw part pallet to the interim storage and picks it up with the corresponding side of the gripper.

  • A gripper with adjustable jaws as well as a magnetic gripper for picking up raw parts of the palette are provided for chuck parts.
  • Workpiece carriers, which are provided by the customer, are used as palettes for finished parts. The palettes can sometimes be used for the next machining center.
  • The position of the raw parts on the pallets is recognized by a camera and converted into the gripping position of the robot using special software.
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