TM Robotics, the European sales partner of Shibaura Machine, is involved in a project to develop a gluing system that will eliminate ‘lag’ in glue dispensing applications. Lag is the term used when a droplet of glue is accidentally deposited in the corner of an object when the dispensing robot changes direction. The project is being run from an R&D lab in Kettering by Metix, the supplier of two-component resin systems and AMT, one of TM Robotics’ system integrators. The project uses a Cartesian linear actuator provided by TM Robotics.

The application currently being tested dispenses glue into camera mouldings. The glue is applied using a Metix DX dispensing heads. This comprises an air-operated cylinder, which pushes glue forward onto two pistons. The glue then moves through a mixer and is dispensed onto the application.

In the first stages of the application’s development, excess glue was deposited in the corner of the moulding due to ‘lag’. The first solution attempted was to ‘drop’ the inner lip of the component in such a manner that any excess glue fell inside the moulding, rather than around the edges. However, this was messy and created the possibility that not all the glue intended for the moulding would be usefully used.

As a result, AMT opted to use the continuous path option in the TM Robotics Cartesian linear actuator so that the robot moved in a completely smooth manner, rather than from point-to-point. This option completely removes lag in gluing applications but could be used in any other situation where a robot is dispending fluid.

“I have said more times than I can count that robots are often in misused and misunderstood in industrial applications,” said Alan Weatherley, Technical Sales Manager at Metix. “Even a simple actuator has functionality built into it that can be released if the understanding of the product is there. That is where the partnership between Metrix, AMT and TM Robotics really produces results.”

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