Date of Submission
United Alloy Corporation (UAC), a company specializing in unique aluminum parts for aeronautics, needed a fix to their error prone, labor-intensive billet press operation. The process has a problem of adding the wrong size or wrong alloy billet to the induction oven, which results in a waste of raw materials. The billets range from ten to thirty-seven inches in length and weigh up to three hundred pounds. Currently, an operator uses a gantry crane to check and lift the billets from a rack onto the magazine of an induction oven. The magazine can hold up to three billets safely and the induction oven presses around five billets an hour. The process does not require more speed, but more safety and quality assurance in which billet goes in the oven. The company tasked Kennesaw State University (KSU) with a project to fix the issues presently in the process, using a FANUC robot to conduct a pick and place solution. The KSU team then fabricated a gripper to lift the billet, designed code to find the rack in space and complete the quality assurance process, and researched sensors and fencing to build a safety cell around the gripper and the robot.
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