This labor-intensive job was automated to reduce labor injuries, factory noise, and to increase throughput by 10%-20%.
Midwest Engineered Systems Inc. (MWES) provided a robotic random conveyor picking system using recirculating conveyors, vision systems, and robot integration.
- Recirculating Conveyors
- Allows for buffering of parts
- Parts pass through scanners and are presented to robots without human interface.
- Conveyor part tracking to pick parts “on the fly” off of the recirculation conveyors
- Vision Systems
- SICK PLB technology mounted above conveyors on tracking slides to locate randomly conveyed parts:
- 3D vision system uses a laser distance system to monitor part location and position
- Vision system locates parts on moving conveyor and directs each of the robots for proper gripping position.
- 3 Fanuc robots with magnetic end of arm tools (EOATs) for part picking:
- FANUC vision technology for part verification and exact location determination on magnet
- Robots properly space parts on outgoing roller conveyors.
- Automated tool changers are used to switch between small and large magnetic grippers.
- Process Testing & Install- All equipment was setup in the MWES facility for production trial runs and testing before installation. Final runoff testing was conducted at the customer’s site to ensure the system met all requirements.
Impact to the Customer
The final robotic picking system provided the customer with the following benefits:
- Less than 2 Year Return on Investment
- Removed staff from a dangerous and hot work environment & decreased workforce injuries
- Increased productivity by 10% – 20%
- Increased quality and temperature control due to a steady flow of product to the heat treat process
- Noise reduction