Engineering & Fabrication of a Tube Hose Assembly Machine for the Automotive Industry
The automotive industry customer that contracted us needed a precision system that was fully automated. We created a system with a 400 tube capacity that would automatically load large amounts of cut-to-length 5/8” diameter tubing.
Once loaded into the bend station, the tube is bent in two locations. A robot is then used to grip the part and rotate it 180°, allowing the opposite end to be bent in two locations. This precision process created bends that met tolerances of ±1.5mm. After the part is bent, the robot automatically unloads the finished work piece, completing each part with a cycle time of only 8 seconds.
Our engineering team created the design from the customer’s specification, producing CAD drawings that our machine and fab shop used to fabricate the unit. The control system utilized an operator interface, with push button control. An Allen Bradley PLC system was also used to control the SMC pneumatic valves and the Motoman robotic controller. Fabricating all of the various components required the use of operations such as CNC and manual milling, automatic and manual grinding, as well as turning. The machine included a square tube and steel plate base, various guards and safety features, and sub-assemblies made from 1018 low carbon steel A2, D2, and S7 tool steel.