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Leviat, a CRH company, is a global leader in connecting, fixing, lifting and anchoring technology for the construction industry.
Leviat manufacture stainless steel support and restraint fixings for masonry cladding, engineered concrete connections and reinforcement continuity systems.
The Leviat MDC Bracket Angle Support Systems are tailored to suit each contract, and are based on the cavity size at the support and the unfactored masonry load to be carried. As such, every length of angle is different.
Leviat were looking for a welding automation system that could make 1 off products with the manufacturing data for each product being drawn from the sales database.
The unique control system knowledge of ICS allowed us to understand Leviat’s requirements and produce a welding system truly able to offer one off products. We worked very closely with Leviat and their database designers to ensure that the system would be easy to operate through a bar code scanning system. Data is drawn from the database and sent to the bending cells to ensure that the correct brackets are bent and delivered to the welding cell welding to a specific angle. Brackets are picked by a handling robot and held in the correct position before being welded by a welding robot.
Unique Welding Solution
To meet the challenges of this system we needed to fully understand Leviat’s product range and the possible levels of variation, the system had to be as flexible as possible. We chose to offer a turntable system with a handling robot and a welding robot on a linear track.
The operator loads an angle and a set of brackets onto a bespoke fixture on the turntable, the table then rotates to present these to the robots whilst the operator unloads the previous assembly and reloads. The angle is presented to the welding robot which checks it is the correct size, the handling robot picks up the first bracket, determines it is the correct type and where it should be positioned on the angle (and in which orientation).
The bracket is held in the correct place whilst the welding robot uses touch sensing to find the weld positions and then tacks it in place. The handling robot then picks up the next bracket whilst the first bracket is fully welded. Once all brackets are welded the turntable rotates the assembly back to the operator.
“ICS had to immerse themselves into our product range to fully understand our requirements, they provided proof of concept through 3D simulation prior to an order being placed.
There are very few companies that can combine the control system, welding and tooling knowledge required. This, backed up by high levels of support make ICS our ideal automation partner”.
Matthew Holmshaw, Operations Director