Super Fast New Robot Furthers 'Transformation' for Marlin Steel Wire Products

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Wire Metal basket manufacturer turning to robot to transform speed, accuracy in operation. Taking a set of digital pictures of each part and then confirming the part conforms to print and then creating an excel spreadsheet of each part's dimensions in 1/200th of a second, revolutionizes quality standards in the industry. 492 feet (twice conventional bending machines) of wire is bent by a pin that is rotating faster than 3600 degrees in less than a second. This Chicago made machine is being used in the USA to bend wire for wire baskets and wire forms with the highest quality and speed requirements.

Solving Engineering Challenges

We make stainless custom baskets and wire forms for clients that need solutions fast for their factories. This robot allows us to make the most precise parts in the industry, fast.

Marlin Steel Wire Products of Baltimore ( ), a leader in the use of robotics in the metal basket industry, recently made the largest investment in its history for a robot that can bend metal at the rate of nearly 500 feet per minute, more than twice as fast as conventional machines.

Marlin President Drew Greenblatt said the company uses steel-wire bending robots such as the one it recently purchased from a Chicago, Illinois manufacturer to improve quality and ensure more exacting standards for the baskets and wire forms his company produces. Precision is essential, he said, because the baskets are often used to clean, dip, wash, autoclave, material handle, cure, protect, transport or store parts that have critical uses in industries ranging from Pharmaceutical, Biotech, Medical, Industrial, Aerospace to automotive. "We make stainless custom baskets and wire forms for clients that need solutions fast for their factories. This robot allows us to make the most precise parts in the industry, fast."

The robot that Marlin recently purchased from AIM produced 100,000 stainless wire form parts in its first three weeks. Because of its speed, the company landed an order for an additional 300,000 parts that had to be produced and shipped in two weeks.

Along with being able to bend steel at a rapid pace, the robot also records a photo of every part it makes. In 1/200th of a second, it compares the part to the original print to confirm the quality of the product. It also creates a spread sheet of all the dimensions for every part produced, so the review is real time and exact, not a statistical sampling. Drew Greenblatt went on to say that, "PPAP is a thing of the past now because we measure every single part in the entire run. If the part is bad, the robot segregates the part. All good parts are digitally measured and we can email this to our client with the packing slip."

The robots speed is enhanced with the fact that it is integrated with a second Fanuc robot that can "handshake" with the wire bending robot and grab the parts as they are formed and perform complex operations that used to be accomplished with a tedious manual operation. Now the Fanuc takes the part and can thread, punch, chamfer, swage, upset, drill or perform a myriad of other tasks consistently and fast.

Greenblatt said the new machine is causing a "transformation" in the industry and in his company’s operation. Marlin recently hosted a tour of its facilities, including the new robot, for members of the Regional Manufacturing Institute of Maryland, the National Association of Manufacturers and U.S. Rep. Frank Kratovil (D-Maryland) and Maryland state Senator Kathy Klausmeier.

About Marlin Steel Wire Products
Founded in 1968, Marlin Steel Wire Products LLC ("Marlin") is a USA-based (and owned) wire basket and wire form manufacturer. Shipping to more than 23 countries, Marlin is focused on fabricating high-quality and highly engineered parts fast, and its approach is succeeding. Quadrupling in sales in less than 10 years, the company is growing in spite of the recession.

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Drew Greenblatt
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