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KR AGILUS bonds threaded bolts at WKT Kunststofftechnik GmbH

Threaded rods, mechanical engineering, heat insulation and electrical insulation: these are the product fields in which WKT Kunststofftechnik GmbH has been operating since 1994

With its headquarters in Geeste-Dalum and about 70 employees, WKT serves customers in the power engineering field and in typical applications such as high-voltage facilities, transformers, medical technology, aircraft manufacturing, rail technology and switchgears.

For WKT Kunststofftechnik, the same applies in each of these areas: plastic over steel.

The KUKA KR AGILUS produces threaded bolts and checks the result.

Automation with highest precision

The assembly and gluing of various plastic components occurs at the beginning of every product. This preparatory work includes the assembly of three components: nut (in square or hexagon design), threaded rod and washer. The result: a highly versatile, plastic threaded bolt for various thread sizes and lengths. Since a thermoset plastic cannot be welded, a special adhesive is used to bond the components. More than anything, this work step demands the highest precision. WKT’s goal was to automate this work step, reduce the defect rate to zero percent and thus increase productivity.

KUKA robot checks own work independently

A square or hexagon nut is first picked up and positioned in the holding fixture. The threaded rod that is then picked up is chamfered and turned 180 degrees in order to add adhesive to the underside in a subsequent step. This end of the threaded rod is then screwed into the nut under torque control. The two elements – nut and threaded rod – then become a single joined component. In a final step, the washer is added. For this, the robot picks up the washer and lets it slide over the threaded rod and down onto the nut. This is how, in just a few steps, the finished threaded bolt is created in the holding fixture. Thanks to camera technology, the robot is capable of independently inspecting the product. In this manner, the precision of the work can be checked and a reject or good part can be determined within seconds. The finished bolt is removed from the holding fixture in order to take up its final position in the curing device.

KR AGILUS is quick, compact and precise

WKT chose the KUKA small robot KR 6 R900 sixx. High repeatability and precision are the defining characteristics of the KR AGILUS product family. With a payload capacity of six kilograms and a reach of about 900 mm, the small robot ensures the highest standard of manufacturing quality in the shortest amount of time. With its speed and high precision, the KR AGILUS can position even the smallest components – such as washers – quickly and precisely. Beyond this, the compact system – consisting of the robot with the associated KR C4 controller – can function in the smallest of spaces. 
The compact system consisting of robot and controller can function in the smallest of spaces

Reliable system with quality assurance

Commissioning and the start of series production at WKT took place in March 2014. Since then, the company has had a reliable system that can be used flexibly and is easy to operate. The use of camera technology to check the product assures 100 percent quality. A success rate that cannot be achieved with manual solutions.

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