The manual handling of metal parts in a press operation is very inefficient and presents major hazards to the operators. Automation can be challenging as a majority of applications occur in confined spaces with the system having to handle a wide range of products.
APEX Automation and Robotics was recently presented with the challenge of developing a flexible automation solution for a leading building products company to stack and palletise half a dozen products of various sizes and shapes at the exit of a press.
APEX’s automation solution consisted of a 6-axis industrial robot with a custom-built gripper that could handle six different products without mechanical adjustments.
The robot controller has an interface with the press. When the press completes its cycle, the robot reaches in, picks up the part and stacks it. While some parts are stacked in bins, others are simply palletised on timber pallets with the robot following the pre-programmed stacking and palletising positions for different products.
Key features of APEX’s robotic system:
- 6-axis industrial robot with custom gripper
- Fully guarded with perimeter fencing, interlocked doors and light curtains
- Safety circuit includes redundancy and safety monitoring devices in accordance with relevant Australian standards
- User-friendly colour touch screen allows the operator to change product, run and troubleshoot the system