October 7, 2021 | Blog
Robot Joins the One Cope Team
Introducing the Newest Member of the Cope Family, MOZIE the Robot!
Question: What’s black and yellow, increases safety and production output, and doesn’t take restroom breaks?
Answer: Cope’s newest robot!
Cope recently added a unique new member to the team—a shiny yellow Fanuc M-710 six axis arm with 100 lb. payload that works cooperatively with our NR-90 KOMO CNC router. It’s part of Cope’s strategic plan to introduce more technology into our manufacturing processes, making the jobs that we have more meaningful and to remain competitive in the ever-changing manufacturing world.
Why a robot? Robots can assist with work that may be too dangerous, strenuous, or tedious for humans to accomplish on their own, creating a safer, more efficient workplace. Automating mundane manufacturing processes allows employees to be better utilized elsewhere and can prevent repetitive motion injuries. Robots are customizable and capable of “learning” on the job, so they can be reprogrammed when necessary tasks change and have the potential to revolutionize manufacturing.
Bumblebee? WALL-E? COP-3? C2-P2?
We thought it would be fun to give our robot some personality, so we solicited name suggestions from the Cope employees. After receiving dozens of creative and hilarious ideas, the majority ruled, so she will henceforth be known to all as MOZIE!
Multiple responses were received for the same name, substantiating the choice with positive reflections of our female founder and wife of Dwight, Mozelle Cope:
- She went non-stop with no breaks
- Honor her legacy
- Diligent employee
- Moves as fast as she did
- Worked tirelessly in our shop to build the business
Quality, Safety, & Functionality
MOZIE specializes in recurring large runs and is now fully scheduled through 2021. Production jobs are programmed just like other jobs, but the operator must still pull completed parts and replace sheets/blanks as needed. The variety of heads available allow for many different functions and she will even has her own nameplate!
Nolan Poole, CNC Programming Engineer, has taken multiple classes to prepare Cope for internal programming of MOZIE, including HandlingTool Operation and Programming, iRvision Operation and Programming–2D, and Advanced TPP Programming. Nolan has now successfully programmed his first job!
The CNC machine communicates directly with the robot by code to instruct the robot to run its program. Every variable must be thought of during the programming operation to assure the machine cycle and robot cycle perform without flaw. We have changed the way we machine parts for our robot. In order for MOZIE to operate as intended, every human action must be mimicked by the robot and every piece of scrap other than the desired part has to be removed from the CNC table after machining. By making small chips out of the off fall, we can use the robot and the CNC machine to remove all debris.
We have also encountered blanks sticking together when the robot tries to pick-up. The program had to be specifically written so MOZIE will only retrieve one blank at a time. Placement is critical especially on blanks that are cut-to-size. The robot retrieves the blank and shows it to a camera so two pictures can be taken of opposing corners. The robot then uses the pictures to adjust and calculate proper positioning on the CNC table. We have worked through several jobs now and the results are impressive.
MOZIE’s speed is quick but very safe during operation. The robot is enclosed with safety fencing with safety doors and light curtains that prevent the robot from running if anyone enters the work area. MOZIE won’t restart until the button is engaged. There is a pallet of blanks on the platform for the robot to pick up and another pallet for the robot to place and stack the finished product. The robot blows off finished parts that are stacked on the finished skid before placing parts so no chips will be between them. The batch counts are also set, so when there is more demand for material, a red flashing light alerts us to load more material and remove finished product. There is a lot of preparation needed, but when all the variables are worked out and the programs are proven, there is minimal set up for subsequent jobs. We are learning more every day and sharing our knowledge with all shifts to assure we are able to run around the clock.
Jerry Dunnagan, Cope’s Director of Manufacturing, and Chuck Darr, Cope’s Manufacturing Manager, have been actively involved with this project from the beginning. “We have a great team and are all excited about growing our technology to become more efficient and better than our competition.”
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