The six-axis Kuka KR-250 robot has proved a very efficient addition to the ‘team’, doing in 30 to 40 minutes what would take a person two days. The component being machined is held, stationery, while the robot’s working head can reach every facet of the component to complete the specified tasks.
The robot drills, trims and slots carbon, timber and aluminium and presently we’re using it on small components such as spreaders, gooseneck fittings, sheave boxes and mast heads. For a spreader to be drilled, trimmed and slotted, a worker would have to measure it up, mark it out with tape and then get into drilling, trimming and slotting in separate time slots. Kuka can do it all at once through sophisticated computer programmes taken from our designers’ CAD drawings.
Currently stage one of the robot set-up is operational – the robot is stationary and can reach a 4x4m area. Shortly stage two will be implemented, which sees the robot placed on a 50m track so it can move along the track to drill, trim and slot entire mast sections in one operation.
The aim is to start off small and move into large sections, from spreaders, then booms and masts, Kuka will do it all and add a whole new layer of efficiency and accuracy to our manufacturing process.