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A robot used by Whitecroft Lighting for automatic direct wiring of standard components was recently fitted with a rotary table, improving connection accuracy by 99 per cent.

Its Hepcomotion rotary table replaced an inaccurate linear moving table and allows a single operator to run the process.

The robot is a six-axis arm that houses a wiring tool that strips the insulation off the wire for connection into either a control gear or lamp holder.

It then runs the appropriate length of wire along pre-programmed path positions to an end connection, where the tooling cuts off the wire and strips the end, ready for final connection.

The operator’s role is to load onto the table the jigs that house the control ballasts and the correct number of lamp holders per control gear according to the product type.

The bed then rotates by 180deg to present the jigs to the robot and to return the freshly wired looms to the operator for unloading.

The basis of the table is a Hepcomotion Heavy Duty ring system that carries two aluminium plates weighing approxiamtely 15kg each.

The ring is a one-piece gear whose vee profile accommodates concentric and eccentric bearings and is driven by a servo motor with encoder.

The table turns at a speed of 0.5m/sec and is able to move from zero to 180deg and back with a positioning accuracy of +/-0.25mm.

The footprint of the robot area has been reduced due to its compact nature.

Designing a unique engineering principle and making it a commercial success is quite an accomplishment.  Developing that concept and embracing complementary technologies to the point where the business becomes a world leader in its field takes that achievement into a different league.  HepcoMotion has achieved both and in 2009 celebrates 40th year of trading.   

Today HepcoMotion is one of the world’s foremost innovators and manufacturers of linear motion technology.  And this can be attributed to the important tenet – continued investment in its people processes and products.  This has allowed the company to grow even at times of economical difficulty.  

Although its range of individual, linear motion products remains an important part of its business the growth area for HepcoMotion in recent years is in specials and assemblies.  Almost one fifth of its shop floor space is devoted to assembly and the company has invested heavily in flexible manufacturing to ensure that even last minute changes can be accommodated to customer specification.  

Constantly re-assessing its strengths against changing market demands continues to provide HepcoMotion with the momentum for business growth.  The culture of ongoing investment has certainly worked well throughout its first 40 years and will continue to underpin its business in the decades to come.

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