Jerit Automation Inc.’s two-robot palletizing application for a medical device manufacturer was loaded with automation but had little space for operators to work within the cell. Typically, the Mesa, Arizona-based company’s 18 years of experience allowed it to solve such design challenges in house, but for the tricky chassis system, it turned to Weiss North America of Willoughby, Ohio, a subsidiary of Weiss of Buchen, Germany. The collaborative result was an octagonal dial plate system that left enough room for machines and personnel.

A pioneer of direct-drive pick & place and multiple-axis modules, industry specialist for rotary tables and automation, Weiss, and its North America subsidiary, recently completed two chassis systems featuring an octagon-shaped, 45.68" dia. dial plate. The plate footprint was sized to match the Weiss 8-station TC220 rotary index table, and was customized to achieve ergonomic, inertia loading, and index speed requirements for a next-generation medical parts subassembly operation for Jerit.

Space to work

The design incorporates two robots - one selective compliance assembly robot arm (SCARA) robot for glue dispensing, and one 6-axis robot for part removal, reject, staging, and placement into preformed trays. This means that more work space would be needed than in most stations around the dial.

The semi-automated system involves the intricate process of using EV glue to put steel into a small diameter plastic part with a tolerance of ±0.005". The pallet-based production system held four-up nests that allow individual parts to be easily loaded by an operator, while keeping parts confined to hold the tight tolerance.

These nests are approximately 12" wide, so the goal was to get the pallets closer to operators to optimize ergonomics and work space around the dial. Additionally, the pallets were designed with holding clamps, pins, and cylinders that interact with both operators as parts are loaded and indexed to the next station. (See sidebar.)

TC220 solution

Now in its third generation, Weiss’ TC220 series heavy-duty rotary indexing tables feature a robust design combined with fast switching. They also offer smooth, jerk- and impact-free running and a long service life.

Using this stalwart rotary table as the heart of the system, Weiss took the project manager out of the equation for Jerit in designing the frame, oversized table plate, and its associated machining. The framework and large top plates were designed by Jerit to support all their automation devices for their specific application. Weiss manufactured the units and shipped them completed.

By collaborating with Weiss on their intricate medical part subassembly system, Jerit was able to achieve its next-generation octagonal design and performance goals.

According to Jerit’s President, Jerry Terlaan, “We normally would do these operations in-house, but Weiss provided a one-stop-shop that saved us time on project management. We recently completed the system’s final factory-accepted test and are ready for shipping. We’ll use Weiss again for future units.”

Weiss North America Inc.

Jerit Automation Inc.