The Iron Shop Adds Second Welding Robot To Its Production Line                                  Press Release used by permission of The Iron Shop

BROOMALL, Pa., June 1, 2001 —The Iron Shop, the leading manufacturer of spiral stair kits, recently added a second welding robot to its production line, making the manufacture of its Metal Spiral Stair Kits more efficient. “I am currently working on fixtures for our second welding robot, to weld sleeves and gussets to landings,” said Stuart Ostroff, project engineer. “The original robot, which was added to the production line three years ago, welds stair treads to sleeves.”

The new robot, which increases productivity and part quality, was purchased from Lincoln Electric in 
Cleveland, Ohio.  “Before a landing can be placed in the fixture, it is first cut out using one of the plasma cutting machines, and is then bent on the new Hurco CNC Brake,” explains Ostroff. Each landing has its own program in the brake’s touchscreen control panel. The operator simply selects the program for the parts being processed and the computer sets all the necessary parameters. The two servo-controlled back gauges locate each edge of the part to be bent, and the brake senses variations in material thickness, ensuring perfectly square bends as well as the actual location of each corner. “It is the combination of the plasma cutting and the Hurco CNC Brake that enables the robot to make consistent, durable weld joints. ” 


The welding fixture utilizes pneumatic clamps to hold a landing in place connected to its sleeve. “The robot has a separate program for each size landing and controls the location of each weld as well as the welding parameters,“ explained Ostroff. The robot welds the sleeve with a total of six welds then internally welds the three corners. Once the corners are complete, the robot returns to ”home“ position and waits for the operator to place the gusset(s) using special location and clamping tools. The operator then presses the start button and the robot welds the gusset(s) using as many as 15 additional welds. ”Since December when the robot was delivered, we have been able to build one fixture and have completed programs for both 5’-0 and 4’-0 landings.“ Next to be set up are the 4’-6” and 3’-6’ sizes, and eventually all sizes up to 7’-0. Soon a second fixture will be added to this robot station to further increase productivity. With the second fixture running, the robot “up-time” will be over 80%. The operator will unload and reload one fixture while the robot is welding on the second.

An improvement in productivity has already been realized. “Production time for a 5’0 landing is 7.25 minutes, this includes loading the fixture and sleeve, welding, loading gussets, welding and unloading. The robot can complete 50 to 60 5’0 landings a day. Smaller landing with a single gusset require less time and we expect as many as 70 per day”. Manual welding of the landing requires nearly twice the time.

Since 1931, The Iron Shop has enjoyed a reputation for outstanding design and fabrication of custom-built spiral, curved and floating stairs. Today, The Iron Shop has grown to become the leading manufacturer of spiral stair kits, with over one hundred thousand satisfied customers worldwide. The Iron Shop’s main plant and showroom, located just outside
Philadelphia, has five regional showroom/warehouse locations near Los Angeles, Tampa, Houston, Chicago and New York City.                                 Click here to return to the home page.