Manipulators used for Bicycle Handling Solutions
Andron successfully designed, manufactured and installed multiple manipulators to be used for bicycle handling solutions by a UK bike manufacturer.
Following the success of previous projects we had carried out for them, Andron Handling were delighted to be asked by Brompton Bicycles to design, manufacture and install 3 bicycle assistors for their manufacturing facility in Greenford, London.
The Technical Challenge
The manipulators were required to move a partially assembled bicycle from a build table to a trolley and then from the trolley to the end location. The primary technical challenge was to ensure the bicycles remained balanced and stable during the lift and inspection process even if not lifted at their centre of gravity and including when suspended from the trolley mid-air. In addition, the manipulators had to be suitable for use with bike frames of varying sizes and made from different materials; titanium and steel, with differing weights and densities.
The Andron Bicycle Handling Solutions
The Andron solution consisted of a 3m height mast bolted to the floor with an articulated arm attached. Connected to the arm was an electric hoist and an intelligent control handle suspended from a wire rope. The end effector was then joined to the intelligent control handle with an autobalancer fitted to ensure the bike remained stable and did not move from side to side during the lifting and moving process.
At the start of the process, the end effector is moved from the parked position to the cross bar of the bicycle. The correct variant is then selected depending on whether the frame is made from steel or titanium. The end effector is lowered on to the top of the cross bar and clamped on the handle using the control buttons, at which point the light goes off to indicate that the clamp is securely in place. The bicycle can now be released from the build fixture, raised up and manoeuvred to the required position using the smart handle. When the bicycle is in it’s end location, it is unclamped using the control buttons and the assistor is safely and easily moved back to its starting position. The entire system is controlled by a PLC and pneumatic logic circuit with built in safety features to ensure the bicycle is safe and secure throughout the process and the clamps are made from polyurethane to ensure no damage to the frame.
The customer was very pleased with the bicycle handling solutions and the improvement it would make to their internal manufacturing process. For more information on our range of Bespoke Manipulators please see our product pages.