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Automated Dual Manual Work Cell

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000034647D
Original Publication Date: 1989-Mar-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Jan-27
Document File: 3 page(s) / 86K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Cella, RA: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

A work cell consisting of two manual workstations is automated by the addition of a conveyor system to automatically deliver/remove pallets carrying workpieces to/from the workstations and to deliver totes carrying necessary parts to ports convenient to the operators. The figure shows that the Cell contains two Work Tables 1 each equipped with a Roller Ball Top 2, which permits easy movement of a Pallet 3 carrying a workpiece. When Pallet 3 is properly positioned, it is locked in position by dual Suction Cups 4. The lock is released by a positive burst of air within the Suction Cups. The Pallet may be repositioned by the operator for successive operations. Table 1 may be set at any of three heights to permit the operator to work in a standing or sitting position.

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Automated Dual Manual Work Cell

A work cell consisting of two manual workstations is automated by the addition of a conveyor system to automatically deliver/remove pallets carrying workpieces to/from the workstations and to deliver totes carrying necessary parts to ports convenient to the operators.

The figure shows that the Cell contains two Work Tables 1 each equipped with a Roller Ball Top 2, which permits easy movement of a Pallet 3 carrying a workpiece. When Pallet 3 is properly positioned, it is locked in position by dual Suction Cups 4. The lock is released by a positive burst of air within the Suction Cups. The Pallet may be repositioned by the operator for successive operations. Table 1 may be set at any of three heights to permit the operator to work in a standing or sitting position. A pressure-sensitive Switch Bar 5 is under the front edge of the Table to protect the operator's legs in the sitting position. When a workpiece has been completed, the Table is set to the middle position, in line with the conveyor system, and the Pallet is released and manually rolled onto Outgoing Conveyor 6. The next Pallet and workpiece is then brought onto the Table by Incoming Conveyor 7. The figure shows the Parts Delivery System, located between the two workstations. There are twelve inclined Flow Racks 8, with two tiers of three each on each side. Each Flow Rack has two-tote capacity. Conveyor 9, which has three-tote capacity, brings tote-carrying parts, each programmed for delivery to a specific Flow Rack, from Materials- Handling System 10 and delivers them to Elevator/Shuttle pick-up position 11. The tote is then shuttled into position in line with its destination Flow Rack.

Elevator 12 then operates to bring the tote to the correct level, and then tilts left or right, as required, so the tote slides into the correct Flow Rack. When a tote is empty, it is manually removed by the operator and returned to Materials-Handling System 10 via Outgoing Conveyor 6. When an empty tote is removed from a Flow Rack, the second, spare, tote automatically slides into place operating a sensor, and the workstation automatically sends a request to the control system for a new tote. There is an operator Control Panel 13, with the following buttons and lights; A red EMO (Emergency Off) mushroom button.

A Power On momentary push button to return to a power-on state

after a power down or an EMO.

A...