News 2016

Successful solutions

A milling island for carbon forged SMC

Interview with Matteo Carpi - Robot Operator

Why did you decide to develop this project?
The milling island in question has been designed and developed in order to perform all the actions necessary to mill carbon SMC moulded components. In particular, this island was built after the acquisition of the Lamborghini Engine Bay project, made up of 4 single parts.

When was the project born and how did it develop?
The project was born at the end of 2014 and started in 2015.
Then it was developed by more than one expert from GSI’s Technical Team and finally by myself. It concluded in July 2015, when the designing of all the four pieces, making up the kit for the customer Lamborghini was complete and the subsequent validation of the milling island by the final customer was performed.

What is this milling Island used for?
The Evolut island is used only for the customer Lamborghini today. The production of these parts inside GSI started with the advent of the automated area. The moulding and milling processes are performed inside GSI, then the pieces are sent outside for other processing operations, sandpapering and painting, and assembled in the car structure by the final customer. As it is very versatile, this island can be used for any SMC or carbon forged moulded parts. If necessary, it is sufficient to substitute the support fittings and reprogram the robot.

Which are the main “actors” involved in the creation of this project?
The project has been developed primarily inside GSI by the technical and production departments which have completed the programming and installation of the machining template for the 4 pieces simultaneously. Later, in order to optimize the time of processing, the pieces have been distributed two pieces per each area. This part of the activity was completed in December 2015. The anthropomorphic robot used for the processing is ABB’s.

What and how many advantages come with this kind of island compared with the past?
90% of the work is performed by a robot. As C-SMC is a very hard material to be machined, the operator has only to check the piece at the end of the process.

The automated activity is necessary because of the rigidity of the material and the amount of work, as the Engine Bay is produced in large quantities. Time saving is significant compared to manual machining. Traditionally, there are other types of milling, for example Cartesian CNC islands. Instead our island takes advantage of a 6-axis anthropomorphic robot with a greater movement flexibility compared to CNC, which generally has from 3 to 5 axes and therefore is much more static.

The performance guaranteed by a robot is greater.
Moreover, this area includes a new and popular milling programming system: it uses cad cam technology which allows also offline milling programming starting from a 3D cad datum. The 3D input and the robot reliability guarantees very high performance as far as desired size allowance is concerned.

Could you describe the island and the process in detail?
The island consists of three areas, a central area for the robot and two workstations opposite one another. The robot waits for the activation of one of the two workstations to start its activity, meanwhile the operator prepares the opposite workstation.

The work cycle of each workstation is divided basically into five production phases:
• Manual loading of pieces and locking
• First robot work phase
• Intervention of the operator to change locking
• Second robot work phase
• Manual unloading of pieces and deburring.

At the end of each production phase, the robot is closed inside its area, in order to clear the working area and permit operator access.
At the end of the work cycle, the robot moves automatically to the opposite workstation, previously prepared and activated. Moreover, our precious coworkers contribute
to the success of the project!


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