Festo automation sits at the heart of a new rotary assembly cell designed and supplied by PCE Automation Ltd. The new production cell also contains Festo mini slides, axes, cylinders, valves and grippers – all of which contribute to the high precision alignment required for STANLEY knife assembly.
Josh Roberts, Festo Business Development Consultant, says: “The STANLEY knife rotary assembly cell presents a great example of how automation can be applied to replace manual repetitive tasks and deliver benefits, such as improved productivity and quality. “PCE involved Festo at the earliest possible stage, which meant we could work in partnership and combine our respective specialist knowledge as system builders and automation specialists to deliver the optimum solution for Stanley Black & Decker.”
Cutting edge solution
The customer required an assembly cell that could be used to produce safety knives with two different sizes of blade capable of swapping production efficiently between their 9mm and 18mm width options. To meet demand, a cycle time of 20 parts per minute was necessary. In addition, Stanley Black & Decker needed a compact solution to fit in the existing footprint at their UK production facility.
PCE Automation Ltd won the contract to design and build the new automated assembly cell under competitive tender, against international competition. In partnership with Festo, they were able to demonstrate the levels of responsiveness and aftersales support that their customer was looking for.
Their solution is an eight-station rotary assembly cell featuring Festo automation. The blade handles are held in position on the central rotary assembly and the components, including blades, are placed with high precision to build up the final product. The fully assembled STANLEY knives are subject to camera inspection for quality control as they leave the cell on a conveyor.