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Service Parts Spot Weld Cell

The service parts spot weld cell. It is missing the raised platform which goes round the rotating axis that will be installed by the customer.

We have recently installed a new spot weld cell for a Toyota parts supplier. In 2021, the customer reached out to use with an idea of trying to automate the welding of all their automotive service parts. They gave us various components off a decommissioned weld cell to try out this concept and if successful, more cells would be ordered which would be made using all new components. The decommissioned components given to us included the Motoman robot with an Obara spot welding gun, a Motoman rotating axis, robot controller, and 2 control panels from which we scavenged parts to put together a new control panel.

The control panel that was built using scavenged components from two decommissioned control panels.

The base structure was designed and fabricated by TOA SE to be a common base platform for all the robot, control, and weld components. Due to the height of the Motoman turntable, the robot had to sit on a higher riser to get to all the welds and so a platform was designed by the customer to be placed around the jig to allow easier access to the jig for the operators. This is why the safety scanners are placed higher than normal on the cell. All of the mechanical design, electrical design, PLC programming, vision programming, assembly and robot teaching was done by TOA SE.

This cell is set up to do spot welding on an automotive door. A forklift comes in and loads the jig with the onto the Motoman axis. The jig support structure uses pneumatic ball rollers that allow the jig to be adjusted correctly on the turntable. Pneumatic crowders and a central locating pin help to properly set the jig on the Motoman axis.

Top down view of the support structure for the jig.

Once the jig has been loaded, the automotive door is placed into the jig and secured using manual clamps. The robot has an incredible Keyence vision camera placed at the end of arm tooling that checks the correct position of all the jig clamps before beginning the weld sequence. The robot then proceeds to make over 70 weld points on the door.

Reusing decommissioned weld cell components to make a completely different weld cell design and function was a unique challenge that was presented to all the team members at TOA SE involved in the project. However, the cell was completed and delivered successfully and on schedule despite being on a tight schedule and the usual hold ups in parts lead times. We are always looking for new opportunities for projects like this. Feel free to reach out to us if you are in need of a similar application!

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