Pneumatic Grippers used in manipulator supplied for new Tesla factory in Texas
Andron Handling were asked to provide a tailgate manipulator including pneumatic grippers for the new Tesla Gigafactory in Austin, Texas.
Andron were delighted to be part of this exciting project for Tesla which involved the design, install and commission of a manipulator using pneumatic grippers to pick up a tailgate from a table, rotate it and place it into the vehicle stillage. As well as the manipulator, Andron were asked to supply the supporting steel framework.
The Technical Challenge
In addition to the technical challenge of design and manufacture of the equipment; the COVID pandemic meant that travel to the US was more prohibitive than under normal circumstances. Therefore, our usual in person installation and commissioning of the equipment, as well as on site training, had to be adapted to suit this, without impacting on the timescale requested by the customer.
The Andron Solution with pneumatic grippers
The Andron technical solution consisted of a pair of 7m long rails attached via hangers to steelwork. A parallel arm was suspended from the rails via a trolley to provide the required reach and vertical lift. Adjoining the parallel arm was a secondary arm to provide the extra reach that is necessary for this application. and attached to this was the pneumatic gripper end effector.
A control handle was mounted to the pneumatic gripper end effector in an ergonomic position to ensure the operator is comfortable throughout the lifting and rotating process and can effortlessly place it in the vehicle stillage.
To overcome the additional challenges imposed by the pandemic, Andron engaged with local subcontractors to support the installation process and provided a suite of bespoke video training modules for the manipulator operators. The customer was extremely happy with the final outcome and the additional steps that were taken to prevent any delays to the project timeline.