Micromech Systems (MSL) have recently designed, built and commissioned this semi automatic filter assembly machine for "Parker Filtration"(part of the international Parker Hannifin group).
This multi-axis machine is installed at their Thetford plant in Norfolk and is used for manufacturing part of the "UCC" range of hydraulic fluid filters.
The filters, which were originally made by hand and comprise a pre-moulded plastic head, a moulded resin base and a perforated steel sheet / mesh body. Demand for this successful component meant Parker Filtration needed to automate to increase production and MSL was chosen to supply the equipment.
The machine uses a 2KM resin-dispensing machine, which was supplied with four sets of quick-change tooling, including moulds, and grippers that enabled the manufacture of four different filter diameters and could also handle filters of up to 200mm high.
The machine incorporates two gantry systems fitted with pneumatic grippers for manipulating the filters and one for moving the resin-dispensing head.
A Sumitomo cyclo gearbox has been used to rotate the 3-metre diameter, 32-station turntable that carries the filters. The gearbox has zero backlash and high efficiency, which is essential to achieve smooth profiled move and accuracy needed to align the filters.
The machine also incorporates Infrared and fan heaters, which are used for curing the resin.
The turntable is driven by a servomotor while other axes have stepper motors. The control system uses an 8 axis motion controller and the specially designed "Micromech Motion Vu" operator interface panel. The software is written to enable the system to simultaneously perform all six operations that are required to assemble, cure and unload the filters. The simple to use operator interface panel allows up to 99 different product types to be selected.