ORLANDO, FLA. — Assembling the lower portion of an Oyo Sportstoys Inc. mini figure 30 times a minute, an automated cell built by Devlinks Ltd. (Booth S26149) is giving a glimpse of what A fully automated cell can do.
Devlinks, of Arlington Heights, Ill., brought the working cell to NPE 2015 in Orlando to show how it can help its customers become more competitive through automation, said President Robert Devlin.
“We approached [Oyo] and asked them in December if we could build a system and bring it to the show,” Devlin said.
A typical custom design setup usually takes 20-22 weeks, he said, but they were able to do this particular system in 12 weeks.
The assembly cell was running Monday morning. After the show, the machine will be returned to Devlinks' plant for further tooling so that the entire figure will be created in the cell. About four weeks later, it will be shipped to Oyo.
Oyo Sportstoys is based in Acton, Mass., and is known for making Major League Baseball, National Hockey League and other toy plastic action figures. It moved most of its production back to the United States to promote quicker product to market. Oyo officials were slated to get their first look at the running cell on Monday.
The system was set up on a standard precision link indexing chassis.
“We start off with a basic chassis and then add the tooling to customize the cell for each particular project,” Devlin said.
All-in-all there were 16 work stations for assembly and inspection. Tiny hip parts were fed from a feeder bowl, pick-and-placed by a Fanuc robot. The legs went through a similar process before being lined up and snapped into place. Then the feet were placed on, so five pieces in total were combined.
The cell included a Fanuc M-1iA series robot, which was using a vision system to pick and orientate the feet of the figures.
The company also showcased a packing cell and a kitting cell, as well as displaying a robot that could be used in a clean-room situation.
Devlinks is a custom automation provider for the plastics and packaging industries. It serves medical device, hospital supplies, automotive, consumer appliance and end-of-line packaging industries. Devlinks has partnerships with two robotic companies —Fanuc and Wittmann. It combines customized automation with standard robot models.
Devlinks started in 2003 making robot guards, but has progressed to end-of-arm tooling and automation systems. It has 20 employees, including five mechanical engineers, at its 38,000-square-foot facility. This is the first NPE that the company is exhibiting at its own booth.