ATI Tool Changers Help Bring Fuel Efficiency Message

April 12, 2010
EOAT displays strength, flexibility, and reliability for Fords EcoBoost presentation

Ford used two ABB robots outfitted with ATI tool changers to demonstrate its new EcoBoost engine a recent auto shows.

When Ford Motor Company and ABB Robotics were developing a new live robotic display to communicate the fuel efficiency message of Ford's new EcoBoost powertrain technology, they turned to ATI Industrial Automation for tool changing expertise. At the 2010 NAIAS Detroit Auto Show in January, and the recent New York Auto Show, Ford’s EcoBoost display used ATI QC-110 and QC-210 model robotic tool changers and two ABB robots, named "Eco" and "Boost", which are housed in circular, plexiglass rimmed display cells. Mounted on the wrists of the robots, ATI Quick-Change tool changers make it possible for the robots to pick up different engine samples and components automatically, presenting them to the crowd in a radial path around each cell.

Ford uses ATI tool changers in its manufacturing plants to increase flexibility for 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 engine 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 6 speed transmission.

Ford says its EcoBoost engine will deliver fuel-economy improvements up to a 20% on up to 1.3 million Ford vehicles worldwide by 2013, with no compromise in engine power. EcoBoost also reduces CO2 emissions by 15% compared to current standards, with no turbo lag, and features a high-injection fuel pump. "The story is really about our leadership in fuel economy, and what a great way to tell that story by brining the technology that builds the powertrain to life on the stand," stated Ford’s marketing general manager John Felice. "It helps substantiate our progress in fuel economy."

ATI’s QC-110 and QC-210 tool changers handle payloads up to 330 and 500 lb, and feature patented fail-safe locking mechanisms, modular construction, and a common lock/unlock air supply and a lock/unlock sensing method.

ATI robotic tool changers provide the flexibility to automatically change end-effectors or other peripheral tooling with accuracy and ease. These tool changers are designed to function reliably for millions of cycles at rated loads, while maintaining extremely high repeatability. A variety of models are available to cover a wide range of applications from very small payloads to extremely heavy payload applications requiring significantly large moment capacity.

The QC-110 and QC-210 tool changers used in Ford's displays are equipped to handle payloads up to 330 and 500 lb, respectively. The ATI tool changers feature: patented fail-safe locking mechanisms to ensure high-moment capacity and strength; modular construction which allows 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 2.5 mm (0.10 in) plate separation when locking. All locking parts are made of Rc58 stainless steel and are designed for superior reliability, repeatability and strength. Integrated robot adapter plates are available for ISO 200 and ISO 250 patterns.