Robot Pilot Plant at Fraunhofer IFAM

Virtuelle Realität des Fraunhofer IFAM Robotertechnikums für Simulationen
© Fraunhofer IFAM
Virtual reality of the Fraunhofer IFAM robot pilot plant.

The robot pilot plant at Fraunhofer IFAM in Bremen has become an established and successful test center for automated adhesive application. Currently, there are two high accuracy robots with bearing loads of 125 kg and 60 kg, respectively. One robot also has a linear axis for extending the robot working range. A wide variety of dosing systems are available corresponding to different applications. These include 1C hotmelt dosing systems with piston feed, 2C dosing systems with gear pumps  and static mixing, and complex 2C and multi-component systems with dynamic mixing heads and high pressure flushing. The container sizes range from 80 liter drums to 20 liter drums and Euro cartridges. 

When planning the robot pilot plant, it was ensured that all the dosing systems could be used flexibly on one of the robots or as stand-alone systems with stationary nozzles. With a stationary nozzle, the component is held by a robot gripper and moved below the nozzle prior to application of the adhesive. For special applications conveyor belts and portal units are also available, which can be connected to the robot and/or dosing systems via a programmable logic controller (PLC). 

The robots in the Fraunhofer IFAM pilot plant are fitted with sensor interfaces in order to respond to camera or sensor signals. A mobile 2D line laser measuring system is available for geometry digitalization of actual parts and comparison to the CAD . Besides gap size determination for tight-tolerance components, reverse engineering is also possible. This involves regenerating 3D CAD models from real components for which CAD data is not available.

Fraunhofer IFAM experts in adhesive bonding technology perform R&D in the robot pilot plant for a variety of customers, including from the car manufacturing industry, aviation sector, and wind turbine industry.