CORRUGATED TUBING / FLEXIBLE CONDUIT
This is the first line of defense in protecting the fill package. The corrugated tubing covers the cables and hoses for the majority of their length starting at the base plate below Axis 1 to their exit at Axis 6. The most widely used material is polyamide (PA12). Plastic (PV), polyurethane (PU), and other materials can be utilized based on the environment and/or the application.
It is important to allow enough slack in order to avoid catastrophic failures, unnecessarily exposing the fill package.
This one piece system joins the corrugated tubing to the metal support brackets or pipe holders. It can be installed in a fixed position or on a pivot bearing/rotating flange allowing movement when needed.
Articulating joints are used when spherical movement of the corrugated tubing is needed at Axis 6. Structurally, the articulating joint must be very robust in order to withstand the mechanical stress it will endure. Two styles of joints are seen in the field.
(A) The two-piece joint offers angular movements ranging between +/- 11°.
(B) An additional type is the ball and socket. Similar to a Heim joint, ball joint or gimbal, it provides spherical “relief” at the exit point of the fill package. It offers angular movements ranging between +/- 15°.
SPRING RETURN SYSTEM - ENCLOSED
Sometimes called a spring retreat or recirculation system. The spring return system allows safe movement of the service loop portion of the corrugated tubing between Axis 3 and Axis 6.
The Robotec Systems version — the Ro-Box — can be stacked three high with no additional support bracketry, employs a more efficient/durable compression spring technology, and has three spring tension specifications to match force calculations based on the fill package. Additionally, it utilizes the “quick clip” system, which are plastic clips that connect the half shells of the Ro-Box. This allows for quicker installation and changeout of the essential dress pack components (corrugated tubes, fitted wires/hoses) without tools or other hardware.
SPRING RETURN SYSTEM - EXTERNAL
Operates on the same concept as the enclosed system without the addition of the energy tube. The external system is less robust; therefore, it’s typically used for vacuum tubing or when lighter hoses are added to accommodate EOAT retrofits.
Used for guiding corrugated tubing as well as part of an external spring return system. The trumpet can be secured to a pivot bearing when movement is needed in the midsection of a corrugated tubing run.
RING CLAMP WITH PIPE
This metal support item secures the dress pack to Axis 6 with the use of a pipe clamp. Typical failures are weld breakage and bending of the pipe section. These failures could possibly cause irreparable damage to the EOAT. It is also referred to as the tennis racket, frying pan and/or wrist support within the industry.
Connects and secures the system holder to either an Axis 6 ring clamp or a precision tube. The mounting ﬂange serves as a holder for the pivot bearing and base plate.
CABLE & HOSE STRAIN RELIEF
This is widely know as a cable star. It is essentially a custom engineered grommet, similar to a multi-hole cable gland, that is placed at each end of a corrugated tubing run. This ensures the fill package is securely held in place and minimizes lateral push/pull movement. Due to the variations of fill packages, this component is custom designed and cut to each dress pack.
Secures the system holder to a pipe clamp. Multiple holes are drilled and tapped allowing the system holder to be placed at an optimum angle. This decreases stress on the corrugated tubing.
Used to minimize wear and tear of the corrugated tubing as it “snakes” over the robot arm. It can also be utilized in repair situations as a way to connect two pieces of corrugated tubing. It is important to consider using versions without screws as this will damage the paint and sometimes the robot’s aluminum casting. HELUKABEL offers the “quick clip” system, which secures the two halves without tools, and can rotate freely on the corrugated tube. The same clip system is employed on the Ro-Box enclosed spring return system.
METAL SUPPORT BRACKET
The metal support brackets ensure the foundational strength of any dress pack system securing the entire system to the robot castings. Structural grade steel such as 1.0037 or A36 should be utilized. Aluminum extrusions are less expensive, but will fail prematurely.
Galvanized steel pipe utilized when metal brackets are not cost effective or may restrict movement of the dress pack. Most often used when a secondary dress pack bypasses the base plate of the robot.