Automation Success Stories

Ramtaps: Round the clock manufacturing

Up to 76 hours of unattended production.

round the clock manufacturing

Client

Ramtaps (Harbic Products)

Problem

Ramtaps have been manufacturing their Australian designed, high quality bathroom fittings for over 70 years. Like all local manufacturing companies, Ramtaps face tough competition from foreign imported products. Ramtaps wanted to improve the process used to manufacture their single lever mixer core bodies, they needed to dramatically increase machine utilisation of an existing Mazak CNC lathe and also decrease the time spent on non-value adding processes.

Solution

Equipment:

  • FANUC M-10iA robot and R30iA controller
  • John Hart purpose built pneumatic and vacuum gripper
  • John Hart purpose built billet feeder with sorting conveyor
  • John Hart purpose built washing and drying system
  • John Hart purpose built in-feed racks for product containers, container lids and slip sheets
  • Finished product exit conveyor
  • Safety fencing and close-out panels

The engineers at John Hart designed and developed a billet feeder to deliver pre-cut brass billets for loading into the Mazak CNC lathe with the M10iA robot. The billet feeder increased the number of billets that could be processed, unattended, from 400 to 2400. A sorting conveyor attached to the billet feeder separates and orientates the billets for pick up by a pneumatic gripper mounted to the end of the M10iA robot.

The M-10iA robot picks and places a product container onto the out-feed conveyor ready to be filled with finished product. A vacuum gripper mounted in a cradle on the base of the robot is picked using the pneumatic gripper. This innovative system has eliminated the need for an expensive robot arm tool changing system. Once the machine cycle has been completed the M-10iA robot removes the finished mixer core body from the machine. The mixer core body is then held in a custom washing and drying system to remove all contaminants. The mixer core body is then placed into the product container with slip sheets between the layers. The lid is then placed on the container to finish the cycle. The product container then exits the system on the out-feed conveyor.

Benefits
  • Reduced cycle time
  • Increased machine utilisation
  • Up to 76 hours of unattended production
  • Automated cleaning and packing of billets
  • Reduced loading time

The benefits to Ramptaps were noticed immediately after installation. Darren Brell, Manufacturing Manager from Ramtaps stated that the “Robot system was able to process two weeks of normal production in four days”. Darren was also impressed that the John Hart Automation & Robotics engineers were able to get “all of the custom system components to perform so well considering it’s a completely new process”.

Ramtaps and John Hart Automation worked together to deliver an automated solution that keeps the manufacture of this product in Australia.