Expanding business thanks to WAMIC expertise
In order to keep up with the increasing market demand for its wine barrel aluminum racks, local manufacturer Hamill Machine needed to fully automate its welding process, something that had been performed manually. Making the decision to switch to Robotic Gas Metal Arc Welding (GMAW), Hamill sought the expertise of the Walker Advanced Manufacturing Innovation Centre (WAMIC) to develop an industrial fixture/jig to pneumatically hold the parts of the barrel rack while they were automatically welded.
Since functionality and size were both important parameters (the fixture had to have a small enough footprint for the welder to reach all the weld pieces), the research team used Computer Aided Design (CAD) in its engineering design. The final fixture prototype is comprised of static locators and uses pneumatic clamping force to hold rack parts, allowing for accurate and repeatable welds, which significantly improves the quality of the welded parts. The jig and use of the robot are now allowing Hamill to grow its barrel racking side of the business “substantially.”
Funding: The Southern Ontario Network for Advanced Manufacturing Innovation (SONAMI) – a Niagara College-led consortium funded by the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).
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