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At Work: Fabricator/Assembler

Fabricator/Assembler
Name: Dan Lucas
Company: Bastian Material Handling
Location: Indianapolis, Indiana
Age: 47
Years on Job: 18
Danny Lucas

At Bastian Material Handling, we wear many different hats. Depending on the day, I may work on assembly, fabrication or electrical components at our robotics division in St. Louis. One of the main projects I work on is the End of Arm Tool (EOAT) for robotic solutions. Everything at Bastian is a team effort. I’m responsible for the mechanical and electrical assembly of EOATs and pallet conveyors. It is a difficult job, but seeing the finished product makes it all worthwhile.

ASSEMBLY
Each EOAT is built from the ground up, part by part. Our engineering department creates a drawing that details how each machine will be put together. The assembly may take as many as 50 steps and an entire week to complete.

COMPONENTS
I am trained in several disciplines. Different EOATs feature pneumatic grippers, suction cups, force sensors or vacuum gripping systems. Skill in electric wiring, assembly and fabrication are necessities to accommodate those various needs.

TOOLS OF THE TRADE
Assembling robots and conveyors requires a diverse tool set. Engineered drawings are invaluable, but I also need a socket and ratchet set, wrenches, a drill and drill bits, and a bevy of electrical tools to work on heavy-duty electrical components.

END OF ARM TOOL
The EOAT, aka the head of the robot, is designed to move loads onto pallet conveyors and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. The systems can palletize a number of loads and are customized based on each customer’s picking application.

FABRICATION
Before the EOAT can be assembled, the engineers provide a printout of all the parts to be made. They are cut from steel, and I use a hole pattern and measuring square to measure and mark where the holes should be cut and a punch press or drill press to cut the parts.

Material Handling Equipment Distributors Association

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