Butterfly Ring Taper Story

A busy OEM had a bottleneck in their exciter line. Large metal rings with lots of break out tabs were being hand taped by a half dozen employees. The Rings required multiple layers of tape and at each of the dozens of breakout tabs the person hand taping the ring had to carefully butterfly wrap the tape back and forth around the tab before continuing taping down the length of the ring. Needless to say, during the 8 hour work shift the quality of the tedious hand taping suffered as the worker's attention wandered and the day grew long. The result was inconsistent tape wrapping quality and low production throughput.

It was taking several hours to produce a completed exciter ring.

Working closely with the customer's in-house engineers, CAM's design team created a horizontal ring taping concept using 3-D mechanical design software. We started by designing a multi-roll tape head that could apply two pancake rolls of tape simultaneously. The head design included tape tension components to maintain a tight wrap through all the gyrations that the head had to perform while moving around the ring and avoiding the break out tabs.

Next our design engineers gave the machine the ability to sense the location of the tabs so that it could detect the tab and slow down and stop one tape width away from the tab. The head was constructed so that it could turn to the left and right to wrap tape around the tab in a butterfly motion. Once the tab was wrapped the head continued down the ring to the next tab and repeated the process.

The machine was made fully programmable so that it could be used to tape many different ring sizes.

When the concept was finished the OEM's engineers calculated that the machine could produce a finished ring every 12 to 18 minutes depending on the size of the ring. Once programmed, the operator could call up the appropriate ring taping recipe in the machine's PLC data base, place a metal ring in the machine's clamps, press the tape to the ring at the start point and press the start button and walk away. The machine would do all the rest automatically. It even summoned the operator when the ring taping was complete so that he could remove the finished taped ring.

Our 3-D animation computer design software makes it easy for engineers, senior managers and non-technical people to see and understand how the machine will function. Note how closely the picture of the finished machine resembles the 3-D design concept above.

Tell us about your manufacturing bottleneck and CAM will bring your machine design ideas to life.

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