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Systems integration for faster cost-effective production. Festo in conjunction with machine builder, IFC Intelligent Feeding Components, has made production process variability and shorter set-up times possible for Tyco Electronics. The Festo Tripod robot has created instantaneous re-calibration of work piece types a reality at the press of a button. The Festo Tripod robot manages production with an IFC flexfeeder system that feeds components through the production process. This simple integration, including the resulting new possibilities for instant process variability, is a practical example of the company’s vision moving towards process automation and integration.

In line with this vision, Festo has developed a simple control system for the Tripod robot that allows easy parameterisation and configuration of new variants programmed using the teach-in function. The system only requires data input for positions, sequences and settings to be entered via the Festo FED (front end display). These inputs can then be recalled at will to initiate a different process sequence. Incorporating the Festo Tripod robot into assembly lines reduces set-up and programming time, allowing for the production of many varieties within a product range, increasing overall output and saving money. This potential for work piece variability eradicates the need for additional feeders, which can sometimes cost more than an entire IFC flexfeeder solution. Festo can also integrate the SBO.-Q vision system. This intelligent camera can visually orientate work pieces and, depending on their position, either accept or discard them. The Tripod features a low moving mass, dynamic handling pyramid-shaped design which makes it very rigid. The Tripod is more accessible in the working area and, since it is made of standard Festo modular components, installation is simple. In practice, a flexible feed system with an integrated Festo Tripod robot can produce, for example, 500 units of one type and then, with minimal adjustment and the shortest possible down-time, 500 units of different type.


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