In this paper, the results of a control project sponsored by Nucor Steel Corporation, Marion, Ohio, are presented. This student project is conducted at University where in which a team of graduate and three undergraduate students are involved. This project is credited as the Senior Design (SD) project for the undergraduate students and hence enhanced their control education through a real industrial application. The student involvement includes visiting the production line at Nucor Steel Corporation, conducting the project at University, and delivering the completed project and installing it on the production line at Nucor Steel Corporation. The objective is to design a robotic system for precise stacking of highway sign posts, while complying with the required stacking pattern as well as time constraints. The Nucor Steel Corporation bar mill relies heavily on manual work force in its highway products division. A highly manual process introduces many safety hazards as well as inefficiencies and inconsistencies. One hazardous position is the bundling of heavy sign posts, which are manually raked into bundles before being manually banded, and workers are at risk for overuse injuries. Moreover, the sign posts are randomly positioned within a bundle, and hence the disorganized bundle is much larger than an organized stack of the same count. Disorganized bundles also hinder further automation processes downstream the production line, such as banding and powder coating the sign posts. This paper offers a robotic stacker solution utilizing Fanuc robot manipulators, custom-built end-effectors, and programmable logic controller (PLC) that will result in smaller and organized stacks as compared with the current disorganized bundles, and the removal of a worker from the hazardous position in the process. Organized stacks will also allow for further downstream automation processes. This paper gives an overview of the developed robotic solution and specifically focuses on the design and development of the robot's mounting structure, along with the custom end-of-arm tool. In addition, authors describe an effective approach of working on industry sponsored SD project, the SD team requirements, significance of the project, specific project outcomes, and assessment tools used.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Journal||ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition, Conference Proceedings|
|State||Published - Jun 26 2016|
|Event||123rd ASEE Annual Conference and Exposition - New Orleans, United States|
Duration: Jun 26 2016 → Jun 29 2016
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes