Apex Automation and Robotics has been delivering automation solutions across different industry sectors with the aim of using suitable technologies for each application.
In a recent project for the ceramic industry, they used a robot combined with a vision system to pick up green toilet pans out of a casting machine, present them to a machining centre where they are deburred and polished before they are loaded onto kiln cars.
The challenge of this application was that the position of pans coming out of the casting machine varies from one product to the other. This slight variation meant that gripping had to be perfect to avoid squashing and damaging the product, which is soft at that stage of the process. To overcome this problem, the engineering team at Apex Automation and Robotics decided to use an optical vision system that can take a snap shot of the pan and then uses the digital image to determine its exact position (x,y) and orientation (angle). The data is sent to the robot that will adjust its pickup position to suit each new pan.
The robot then presents the pan to the machining centre that has been supplied as part of the full turnkey system. The use of vision systems and other technologies such as laser scanning has enabled the use robots to automate applications.