A success story continues. The DCAM assembly station (DEPRAG COMPACT ASSEMBLY MODULE), which has proven itself many hundreds of times all over the world, is now 25 years old. But this is no reason for the DEPRAG engineers to rest on their laurels. They have optimised their “baby” and equipped it for the future. At the MOTEK 2011 show in Stuttgart DEPRAG, the automation experts, presented the DCAM in its pioneering new, modular form, providing customers with some major benefits. The DCAM's legendary reliability and high level of functional safety is now available “out of the box”, which means that the standardised assembly platform is now more cost-effective, and delivery times are shorter.
The DCAM came about when mobile phone assembly was still in its infancy. Mobile phones used to be assembled individually by hand - an expensive and time-consuming process. The company that could produce its mobile phones faster and more cost-effectively, would be ahead of the game. So, a well-known Swedish mobile phone manufacturer sought help from DEPRAG, the German automation experts. Many work sessions later the assembly platform, now valued throughout the world, was born. Dubbed the Weasel, the DCAM began its work. And with weasel-like speed it won over the Swedish mobile phone manufacturers, who immediately ordered the first hundred of these innovative assembly stations. Jürgen Hierold, Sales Manager, takes a confident look back at the DCAM's beginnings, and at the subsequent 25 years. “The DCAM has become a firm fixture, because it is good.”
But nothing is so good that it cannot be improved. Sales Manager Jürgen Hierold points out: “Up to now every DCAM has been a individual product designed for each customer. Each new system took a long time to produce - from the initial consultation, through the design engineering stage, to the manufacturing stage - and the work involved had a negative impact on investment costs and delivery times.” In the age of increased budget squeezes, the call for a DCAM at a fixed price and with a short delivery lead time was becoming increasingly loud, and now this wish has become reality as the DCAM is available as a modular design.
Compact, space-saving and in the tried and trusted attractive modern DEPRAG design - the new DCAM attracted the attention of visitors to MOTEK 2011: The assembly system with 25 years of proven use is timelessly convincing. However, with its modular platform design, it is now easier to calculate investment costs; combined with its freely programmable axis system, it can still be deployed flexibly for an extremely wide variety of assembly and production tasks.
The powder-coated steel frame of the work station base is welded to provide torsion-resistance, ensuring that the platform is extremely stable and durable. The height-adjustable base plate is enclosed to ensure safety in production and for the operator. This also reduces noise levels and, moreover, protects it from contamination.
production parts are either manually loaded - using a sliding part nest or rotary index table - or fully automatically by means of a linear transfer system. Depending on the application, operator safety is secured by a safety door or light curtain.
The assembly station is equipped with a high-quality actuators consisting of X and Y linear axis with tooth-ring drive and, if needed, a Z-axis with ball screw. The axes are driven either by advanced 3-phase stepper motors or by servo motors. Sales Manager Jürgen Hierold emphasises the uniqueness of the DEPRAG axis system. “Our axis technology has been designed especially for typical mass and torque loads during the screwdriving process which is what achieves the high level of functional safety and the legendary reliability of this assembly platform. Moreover, when designing the axis, our engineers wanted to take up as little installation space as possible, yet with the largest possible working range. They achieved their aim.”
The new standardised DCAM is available in two versions. Version A provides a maximum effective working range of 400 millimetres for the X-axis, and 250 for the Y-axis. In version B the X and Y axis each travel up to 600 millimetres. The optional Z-axis has an effective working range of 150 millimetres in each version.
The DCAM is the ideal work platform for an application in which several processing points (or paths) have to be completed quickly and accurately. So it is particularly suitable for screwdriving assembly work. Equipped with one of DEPRAG's screwdriving modules, provided with high-quality industrial screw-drivers, and combined with the appropriate screw-feed equipment, it is process-reliable for every screwdriving task. The benefits to users: As a one-stop-shop DEPRAG offers every system solution from a single source, including comprehensive customer service.
The compact and extremely flexible assembly platforms, produced in Amberg, the head quarters of DEPRAG SCHULZ GMBH u. CO. KG, are also ideally suited to carry out labelling operations using pliable labels or rigid plates, monitoring the presence or position of components, as well as dispensing, joining and marking tasks also. Several hundred assembly stations are currently installed at locations throughout the world - and not just for the assembly of mobile phones.
The DCAM control system is included in every standard model. It allows up to 199 inputs and outputs, and supports up to three programmable axis, different communications modules, and all the necessary electrical components and relays required for the controls and safety devices. The control system can also be equipped with an external operator module, to assist the teaching process. The operating panel is pluggable and easy to connect to other assembly stations. It is also possible to combine it with the latest DEPRAG DCOS machine control system.
Sales Manager Jürgen Hierold summed up the benefits of the optimised, standardised DCAM as experienced by visitors to MOTEK, who gave IT a unanimous thumbs up:
“At last the tried and tested DCAM is available at a fixed price and with a manageable delivery time. Yet nothing has been left out from the successful design. The new DCAM is also distinctive for its high degree of functionality and legendary reliability. Established technology has been put to work to customers' benefit within the clearly designed standard.” He added: “Of course we continue to manufacture customised DCAM assembly stations to customer specifications. With this option, customers receive a specially-designed machine - more expensive of course - but tailored to their individual requirements in every detail.”
DEPRAG SCHULZ GMBH u. CO. KG has more than 600 employees in more than 50 countries. Its new products and constant optimisation of existing product lines, such as the successful DCAM model, have ensured that this full-service provider is a valued partner in the world of automation. Screwdriving technology along with the component-feed and measurement technologies continue to be the core activities of these automation experts, epitomising flexibility and good service.
And the German mechanical engineering firm has also made a name for itself with its innovative air motors and pneumatic tools.
DEPRAG SCHULZ GMBH u. CO. KG
Tel: 09621 371-343
Fax: 09621 371-199