The Challenge :
Hilton Manufacturing approached Marand to develop, design and engineer a robotic system to automate the polishing of the aluminium fuel tanks they manufacture for trucks bodies. The challenge also required the system to cater for a variety of product (tank) variations. The range of aluminium fuel tanks Hilton manufacturing supply includes customers like Volvo, Mack and Iveco.
The system requirements were to produce a mirror finish in less than 40 minutes on the tanks and accommodate varying sizes in both length and width ranging from 300mm - 2000mm along with various body shapes.
The Solution provided :
Marand completed the concept development and complete engineering of the single robotic system that services multiple stations, each of which can be tended for load the loading and unloading of fuel tanks while the robot continues operating on an alternative station. Following constraints theory methodologies, this ensures the constraint being the single robot is utilised to its maximum capacity in productive polishing time. Each station presents the fuel tanks on a servo driven rotator (one for the body of the tank and the other for the ends) to allow the robot access to the complete surface area of each fuel tank. The system is producing a completed fuel tank in less than 35 minutes.
The Outcome :
Following completion and testing of the system in the Marand Moorabbin facility it was decommissioned, packed and shipped before being installed and commissioned at Hilton’s Wacol facility in Queensland. The turn key robotic polishing system was operational in November 2010 and has been exceeding expectations since.
The Customer :
Hilton Manufacturing is an Australian manufacturer of precision sheet metal products including custom designed fuel tanks for trucks and buses.