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One of the most interesting aspects of working at Thermotron are our customers and their products. We have such a wide customer base across all industries around the world, and these customers are testing fascinating products and components with our environmental chambers and electrodynamic shakers. So it is especially interesting to see our environmental test chamber being used in a totally unexpected way… with robots! Thermotron customer and major U.S. defense contractor Raytheon, uses a robot in its Phoenix, AZ facility to interact with their Thermotron environmental test chamber. This specific Thermotron environmental test chamber was designed with pneumatics to open and close the door  automatically without human intervention. This allows the robot arm to defty insert and remove a rack of parts in the test chamber without having to wait for the test chamber to return to ambient temperature levels before opening and closing the test chamber door as is required for human operators. The Popular Mechanics article describes the scene:

“A hefty robot arm hauls a rack of parts for six Talon laser-guided rockets to an oven meant to test their endurance against extreme heat. The door of the Thermotron opens automatically just as the arm reaches it and shuts when the parts are inside.”

If only we could get a video!

Be sure to read the rest of the article which goes into detail about how Raytheon’s high tech plant uses robotics, virtual reality, 3D printing, and more to develop cutting edge defense and aerospace equipment.

What applications can you think of in your company that require an innovative solution like our automatic pneumatic environmental test chamber door? Our team of experts have been building custom solutions for environmental and vibration testing across our entire line of test chambers and vibration shakers. Contact us today if you want to discuss a specific application or current challenge you are facing.


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