ATI Supplies Tool Changers For Ecoboost Display

ATI Industrial Automation has provided tool changers for a live robotic display of Ford's new Ecoboost powertrain technology. When Ford Motor Company and ABB Robotics looked to create the live display to communicate the fuel-efficiency message of the Ecoboost technology, they turned to ATI Industrial Automation for their tool-changing needs.

Debuting at the 2010 NAIAS Detroit Auto Show and on display at the upcoming New York Auto Show on 2-11 April 2010, the display uses ATI QC-110 and QC-210 robotic tool changers and two ABB robots, named 'Eco' and 'Boost', which are housed in circular, plexi-glass-rimmed display cells. Mounted on the wrists of the robots, ATI quick-change tool changers enable the robots to automatically pick up different engine samples and components, presenting them to the crowd in a radial path around each cell.

Ford also uses ATI tool changers in its manufacturing plants to increase flexibility on its stamping, body-assembly and powertrain production lines. The tool changers allow robots to perform multiple functions and change tooling for different styles of vehicles along the same assembly line. 'Eco' presents a series of components, including turbo chargers, fuel pumps, intake and exhaust manifolds and an engine control module. 'Boost' presents three different versions of the Ecoboost engine and the new 6F MID six-speed transmission.

It is claimed that the Ecoboost engine will deliver up to a 20 per cent improvement in fuel economy on up to 1.3 million Ford vehicles globally by 2013 with no sacrifice in power. Ecoboost is also said to deliver 15 per cent fewer CO2 emissions, no turbo lag and a high-injection fuel pump. ATI robotic tool changers can automatically and accurately change end effectors or other peripheral tooling, according to the company. The tool changers are designed to function reliably for millions of cycles at rated loads while maintaining high repeatability.

Various models are available to cover a range of applications from very small payloads to extremely heavy payload applications requiring large-moment capacities. The QC-110 and QC-210 tool changers used in Ford's displays are equipped to handle payloads of up to 330lb (150kg) and 500lb respectively.

The tool changers feature patented failsafe locking mechanisms to ensure high-moment capacity and strength; a modular construction, which facilitates integration into applications requiring high-power, coolant, servo, Devicenet, Ethernet and discrete-signal capabilities; a common lock/unlock air supply; and a lock/unlock sensing method. No-Touch locking technology allows up to 2.5mm (0.10in) plate separation when locking. All locking parts are made of Rc58 stainless steel. Integrated robot adapter plates are available for ISO 200 and ISO 250 patterns.


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