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Qbig: “In-flight” screwing with a screwing robot and  KUKA.ConveyorTech 

Increasing productivity is one of the main tasks of companies. Qbig's engineers work every day on solutions that improve the productivity of industrial plants. One of the latest projects of the company from Łódź is a device for automatic screwing solutions, based on the KUKA robot KR AGILUS.

Automatic screwing solutions allow efficient production

Time is money. Nowhere is this phrase more important than in industrial plants. Manufacturing as many products as possible in the shortest possible time without any deterioration in quality is an ideal that every entrepreneur strives for. There are many methods for increasing labour productivity. But one of the most preferable, and in recent years one of the most developed, is the automation of production processes.

KR AGILUS robot and automatic screwdriving systems help to increase the productivity of the plant

Qbig, located in Łódź, creates and develops advanced automation solutions, using the latest technologies from industrial robotics. Qbig’s engineers carried out their latest project for one of the leading manufacturers of household appliances. Their task was to create a sub-assembly line together with a fully automated station for screwing window doors of washing machines in order to ultimately shorten the process, to support human workers and to increase the productivity of the customer's plant.
The screwing robot KR AGILUS in operation, screwing elements of washing machines

It is so difficult to find employees these days that they are worth their weight in gold. Supporting a human with a robot for a certain task makes it possible to free up resources and redirect an employee to a more valuable task. Robots thus increases the productivity of the line.

Bartosz Łuczak, co-owner of Qbig

Two robots or one screwing robot that screws "in flight"? The most effective way?

The customer, who selected Qbig's project from the proposals of several companies, has high demands on the cycle time. This was quite a challenge in the design phase. Screwing “in-flight" consists of assembling the components, in this case the windows of the washing machines, as they move through the transport system inside the machine. This means, while the last screws are being assembled, the window moves, freeing up space and allowing the next product to enter, stop and position itself. This is an innovative solution of Qbig that enables a significant reduction in cycle time.

Screwing is a monotonous and tiresome job. The robot can do it effectively. However, the cycle time was crucial for our customer. To meet the time limit, each competing company suggested using two robots. We suggested using one screwing robot screwing in flight.

Bartosz Łuczak, co-owner of Qbig
The process of screwing “in-flight" consists of assembling the elements as they move through the transport system inside the machine

KUKA.ConveyorTech for automatic screwing solutions

Screwing in-flight is a solution that allows optimal use of the potential of the robot and the automatic screwing spindle. A serious challenge the Qbig engineers had to overcome was to create a mechanism to precisely determine the position of the moving components to enable correct screwing. The use of KUKA.ConveyorTech software proposed by KUKA’s specialists proved to be crucial in this case. This technology is responsible for organizing interaction between the robot and line conveyor. The task of the software is to automatically adjust the robot's movements to the linear motion of the production line.

Precision in tracking with a screwing robot

"We’ve been looking for a solution in consultation with KUKA. We didn’t realize that there is such an application as KUKA.ConveyorTech. We knew that it was possible to track packages on the line, for example, but we were not sure if this tracking was accurate enough to be used in a screwing device. However, we received confirmation from KUKA that the precision of this technology will be sufficient. At first, we had doubts, but in the end the KUKA.ConveyorTech application solved half of our problems”, reports Bartosz Łuczak.

Precise automatic screwdriving system integration done by Qbig

Meeting customer requirements

Finally, Qbig's engineers succeeded in developing a device that meets the customer's requirements. The automated in-flight screwing of the elements enabled the end customer to achieve the desired objectives and above all to increase the productivity of the system. This is certainly not Qbig's last project, based on the potential of KUKA robots. The common goal was to improve productivity of the system and facilitate the work of the crew. This task has been fulfilled perfectly.

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