Browse Prior Art Database

Automated Assembly and Handling System

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000044944D
Original Publication Date: 1983-Jan-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Feb-06
Document File: 2 page(s) / 42K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Hardcastle, B: AUTHOR [+4]

Abstract

A system for assembling an article comprises a row of workstations and test stations at which a subassembly is processed. Alongside this row of processing stations is a random-access storage unit, comprising racking, in which subassemblies may be stored. Transfer mechanisms are provided at each processing station for transferring subassemblies between the racking and the stations. A programmable handling mechanism is movable between storage locations and transfer mechanisms to transport subassemblies between them. A controller causes the handling mechanism to progress each subassembly through the work and test stations and to store subassemblies in and retrieve them from the storage locations, as necessary, between operations.

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Automated Assembly and Handling System

A system for assembling an article comprises a row of workstations and test stations at which a subassembly is processed. Alongside this row of processing stations is a random-access storage unit, comprising racking, in which subassemblies may be stored. Transfer mechanisms are provided at each processing station for transferring subassemblies between the racking and the stations. A programmable handling mechanism is movable between storage locations and transfer mechanisms to transport subassemblies between them. A controller causes the handling mechanism to progress each subassembly through the work and test stations and to store subassemblies in and retrieve them from the storage locations, as necessary, between operations.

A plan view of part of such a system is shown in the drawing. Three workstations 10 are shown alongside a buffer storage rack 11 which consists of an array of rectangular storage bays 12. Immediately adjacent the workstation some of the storage bays are missing to make room for a transfer carousel 13, which is aligned with the rows and columns of storage rack 11. The carousel comprises a double-ended forked member which can be raised in a vertical direction simultaneously lifting subassemblies 15 from the workstations and storage rack. The forked member is rotated about axis 14 through 180 degrees, then lowered to complete the transfer. Parts are fed to the workstation by feeder 16 (shown in phantom).

A handling mechanism 20 consisting of a forked arm 21, mounted on a mast 22 on a carriage 23, is movable alongside the rack storage 11,...