JMP Engineering (Corporate)

JMP Robots Perform Feats of Strength and Efficiency

The Challenge

One of the products the client makes is oil pipes with threaded ends. Before leaving their facility, the threaded ends of the pipe need protector caps applied which help protect the threads from damage during shipping. This operation is labour intensive and requires significant strength. In addition to being a major ergonomic issue for the client, this was a slow operation so production efficiency was also an issue.

Our Approach

The approach involves an automated system using two Motoman robots. The first robot (a Motoman HP50) performs bin picking using a camera for vision guidance to remove the parts one by one from large bins. It then places each individual thread protector on a table, where the second robot (Motoman EH200) picks them up. The second robot (also known as the ‘threader’ robot) has special tooling designed by JMP Engineering that can twist the caps on to the end of the oil pipes.

Our Unique Value

Three main elements led to the success of this system:

1) A phased approach – JMP embarked on an Engineering study in cooperation with the client to determine the correct approach for a system of this nature. Several iterations of the design were tested and retested, with feedback and input from the client to ultimately arrive at a final solution.

2) Decoupling the process – having one robot perform removal of parts from the bins and a second robot that performs the threading was a key design decision.

3) Innovative approach to threading – lots of iteration and testing resulted in a very innovative gripper design and successful threading application.

These 3 factors are typical of JMP on ‘difficult to solve’ problems. JMP, for lack of a better term, ‘gets it’, and works hard to understand the client’s needs in order strive towards an effective solution.

The Client’s Success

This system has been running at the client’s site for the past year and it is proving to be a very successful piece of automation. Operators do not have the ergonomic issues as before, and production efficiency has increased significantly. JMP has recently learned that other sites within North America (for the same client) are interested in purchasing more of these systems based on the success and experience with JMP. Not only has JMP provided an effective solution, but is now recognized as a ‘go to’ solution provider for this client!