- Forte built a family of these cells for a major light bulb manufacturer to meet the production needs. In these cells ceramic Arc Tubes are molded in halves, each half is gaged, the end of the tube is machined to length, then 2 halves are joined together, the overall length is gaged again, and off-loaded into trays in a continuous process, dual line cell using 6 robots working together.
- A single horizontal injection molding press is tended by a 6-Axis robot with tooling to remove 4 molded Arc Tubes at a time.
- Forte custom designed carriers allow the 16 different size Arc Tubes to be handled firmly but gently enough not to cause damage to them in this delicate just molded condition. These carriers can be easily off-loaded and a different size loaded for quick change over. Minimal tooling adjustments are required.
- After unloading 4 Arc Tubes simultaneously into the 4 carriers, 2 carriers are off-loaded onto one of two servo shuttles, the other 2 carriers are off-loaded to the second servo shuttle. These shuttles transfer the Arc Tubes first to a set of laser micrometers to gage the bulbs then to a set of lathes.
- A pair of 6-Axis robots tend the custom designed servo controlled shaving lathes. The robot moves the carriers with the pre-gaged Arc Tubes to the shaving lathes where they are cut to final length with carbide tipped rotating saws. The carriers are removed by the tending robots to another servo shuttle for transfer to a second joining lathe.
- A second pair of 6-Axis robot tends the 2 joining lathes. Carriers with Arc Tubes are picked from the shuttle and loaded into the custom designed dual spindle lathes. A nitrogen fed heater on a slide is lifted between the 2 Arc Tubes where they are heated. The heater drops down and the 2 Arc Tube halves are joined into a single completed Arc Tube. These lathes depress the self-locking feature on one of the carriers allowing one carrier to release the completed Arc Tube to a single carrier. The robot unloads the empty and full carrier to a third set of servo shuttles.
- This final set of shuttles present the finished Arc Tube to the unload robot where the unload robot removes the Arc Tube with vacuum, takes it to another laser micrometer for final gaging, and places it vertically into size specific outbound trays.
- After parts are remove from the carriers, the carriers are automatically vacuumed out and off-loaded to a cleaning station where rolls of cleaning cloth wipe all sides of the carriers clean.
- The cleaned carriers are then fed back on a central return conveyor to a 4-up escapement for presentation to the 4-up tooled mold tending robot to start the cycle over again.