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Robotic collaboration

SCHURTER gives an insight into the different robots used in production.

SCHURTER has invested significantly in the use of robots for the production of all custom-made input systems.

A collaborative robot is used in PCAP assembly and is part of an in-line production cell. The robot works in close co-operation with an operator to relieve them from the repetitive movements and handling of parts.

To assemble the glass touch panel into the housing, the robot has integrated sensors, enabling it to guide the glass safely and precisely into the housings recess. There are a range of benefits by using robots within PCAP assembly; ensuring quality, less operator dependency and enabling shorter delivery times.

In Industry 4.0, these flexible and easy to configure robots are trending, the new world standard for production automation. For both the PCAP and resistive touchscreen integration into housing, several dispensing robots are used. They prepare the surface of the housing with a plasma arc. Then it applies a dispensable adhesive to ensure firm adhesion between the housing and the front panel.

Robots in Optical Bonding

There are three robots used in the liquid optical bonding process: a Bezel seal robot; Plasma robot and Dispensing robot.

The Bezel seal robot applies a UV curable seal between the metal brackets of a LCD and cures the seal with an UV light. This seal prevents optical bonding glue leaking into the highly sensitive LCD.

The Plasma robot uses a rotating plasma arc to improve the surface tension of the glass touch and LCD to ensure the adhesion of both parts.

Once this process has occurred, the dispensing robot applies the optical clear bonding glue on the bonding surface.

Robots in housing assembly

A fenced six axis robotic arm is used in SCHURTER to apply a foam gasket to metal housings, used for resistive and capacitive touchscreens.

The material flow is sent through a rotary table, allowing the robot to shed the already inserted components. This enables the operator to remove the finished components on their side of the rotary table and insert unprocessed frames. The final step is placing the finished components on the treadmill of the continuous furnace and packed after passing through the oven. Handling processes are actioned by the robot enabling the operator to work on the before and after. This results in higher processing time and increased output.

Membrane Switch assembly

Assembly robots are used to manufacture membrane switches to position the domes, LED lights and other electronic components. A vibrating station is used to position the domes for installation, this is then detected by a camera system.

The placement robot picks up the domes via a vacuum gripper, and with the four separate axes, the robot moves the snap disc to the desired position and places it there. Through this process, the snap domes are installed in the membrane keypads.

The final step is when the assembly robot works with the shutter drawers. These drawers are retracted and extended enabling the robot to continuously work while to employee inserts empty membrane switches and also removes the finished product.

SCHURTER’s vision:

Automation is one of the key advantages of using the robots in assembly, this enables productivity in other areas that require the employee’s attention. Further to this, the robots keep operational costs down, reduce human error due to fatigue or lack of knowledge and it improves internal processes.

Author
SCHURTER

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