About three years ago, LASIT came into contact with a Swedish company that produces components for the automotive industry. The company needed to laser marking a DataMatrix code on differential boxes, integrating the laser marker in a robot cell.
We therefore designed and built the Tower Shuttle, a customized laser marker equipped with YZ axes, a 20Watt fiber optic laser designed for integration with robots.
The biggest strength of the TowerShuttle is that it interfaces with the robot that loads and unloads the component on the motorized slide, which moves the template in Y, leading it inside the cabin, preventing any problems or damage to the machine itself.
When the robot arm positions the differential box on the corresponding template, the external piece presence sensors detect it and the motorized system with integrated encoder lets the slide move with extreme precision: at this point, the marking cycle can begin.
Inside the cabin is a camera, positioned next to the marking head, which frames the differential box and checks its position before starting laser marking.
At the end of the process, the same camera checks the quality of the DataMatrix and the components comes out from the cabin to be picked up by the robot and inserted in the next cell station.
The robot receives as input the code depending on the detected hole and returns as output the contents of the DataMatrix that corresponds to that differential.
In this way, the internal customer database stays updated with the traceability data relative to each manufactured component and it is possible to trace back the piece to its origin in case of product damage.
The safety of the laser marker is managed entirely in ProfiSAFE, that is a communication protocol for management of the safety system, avoiding the wiring with external components.