KR 500-3 handles railway sleepers at Maba Track Solutions GmbH
KehraTec GmbH – based in Werdohl within the Märkischer region of the German Sauerland – has been developing individual solutions for special-purpose machines since 2009
Through innovation, dynamism and continuous upgrading of process technologies, the company delivers a wide range of different options for process optimization to customers in the sanitary engineering, transport technology, medical and automotive industries.
Easier handling of railway sleepers
Located near Vienna, Maba Track Solutions GmbH – a Kirchdorfer group company – turned to KehraTec in search of a 100% solution for 3D measurement of the railway sleepers it manufactures. This entailed not only fully measuring the railway sleepers, but also finding a way to facilitate the handling of the sleepers weighing 320 kg and having a length of 2.60 m.
Sleepers weigh up to 320 kg
The concrete railway sleepers are first fed to the application in unmixed mode by means of a chain transfer. The system can be used to handle and measure up to seven different types of sleepers.
The largest and heaviest sleeper is 2.60 m long and weighs 320 kg. The KUKA robot picks up each concrete railway sleeper and turns it over by means of an overhead motion. This replaces the turning operation needed in one of the next production steps. Subsequently, the robot moves the railway sleeper into various positions for the KehraTec 2D and 3D vision system. Once the full KehraTec check has been conducted, the robot sets the railway sleeper down again and the cycle starts again from the beginning.
KUKA KR 500 is reliable, powerful and precise
The robot selected for this application was a KUKA KR 500-3 heavy-duty robot, which stands out for its reliability as well as its easy operator control. With a net payload of up to 500 kg, it is ideal for handling the heavy railway sleepers weighing up to 320 kg. The jointed-arm robot also offers precise versatility of motion, even in the case of high process forces. Thanks to reaches of up to 3326 mm, even large components can be processed. Beyond this, the enclosed design of the robot is an advantage in the application, which has to contend with the high degree of fouling typical of the concrete industry – a factor that impedes manual handling. This makes it the ideal alternative, particularly for tough tasks that are arduous for human workers.
A 100% quality check is made possible
The use of this robot-automated solution brings many advantages. For one thing, a 100% quality check is conducted. Such precision would not be possible with a manual solution. This is no insignificant aspect – particularly with an eye to the increasing quality requirements of the customers. Furthermore, the time factor plays a key role.