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Robotic Future of Internet Order Fulfillment

TRENTON FORGES A NAME FOR ITSELF IN ROBOTICS
Trenton ForgingThe process of working metal to a desired shape by impact or pressure in hammers, forging machines (upsetters), presses, rolls, and related forming equipment. has a long history of taking on projects that others shy away from due to equipment limitations or part complexity. Even though our normal forging size limitation is 15-20 lbs. we can redesign certain components to work with our equipment and still keep the same functionality for the customer.

In this case a robotics company looking for a load bearing suspension forging for their new product approached us. The proposed part would be used as the main axle of a robot that was part of a small army of automated order-pickers designed to deliver goods from warehouse shelving units to humans waiting to pack and ship internet retail orders. The robots can run in a dark warehouse, work in more extreme temperatures, and eliminate wasted time and fatigue that would normally plague a man-powered logistical warehouse.

It was an intriguing opportunity that Trenton wanted to pursue. Due to the complexity of the part in question and the general size required of the finished product, it wasn’t fit to be a forging, nor was it within our normal size range. The part was simply too large for our drop hammers to form. Even the size of the raw material (billetA semifinished, cogged, hot-rolled, or continuous-cast metal product of uniform section, usually rectangular with radiused corners. Billets are relatively larger than bars. See Bloom.) was too large for our induction heaters to accept. Instead of passing up the business opportunity, Trenton’s engineering team separated the part into two smaller, forgeable pieces. They now had the ability to forge them independently, fixture, and robotically weld the two pieces into a single-piece assembly. This eliminated the issue of raw material size and drastically reduced the machining required downstream, saving the customer the cost of machine time and wasted material in the process.

Keep an eye out for these order-picking bots. They may have fulfilled your latest internet order!