APEX Automation and Robotics are suppliers of robotic systems for packaging and palletising a variety of products and were recently approached to produce a robotic cell for a leading supplier to the mining industry.
Apex Automation and Robotics are able to supply robotic systems capable of packaging and palletising products ranging in weight from a few hundred grams, in the case of plastic bottles, to a few hundred kilograms, in the case of heavy metal parts.
In this recent application for a leading supplier to the mining industry, Apex Automation and Robotics were faced with the challenge of collecting, bundling, strapping and palletising mine roof bolts. These bolts vary in length from 600mm up to 3000mm and each bundle can weigh up to 250kg.
An ABB - IRB 7600 robot with a payload of 400kg was used in this robotic cell that included an automatic Polyester (PET) strapping machine. The bolts are collected in small bundles of five, which the robot then picks up and presents the first end to the strapping machine.
The robot then spins the bundle around to strap the other end. These small bundles are then collected to form a large pack. Each pack is presented by the robot to the strapping machine, and after both ends are strapped, the packs are automatically palletised. The robot also removes a single bolt for QA tests every 500 bolts or on demand.
This robotic cell has two palletising bays separated by light curtains. When a pallet is complete in one bay, the robot moves to the other bay so that production is never interrupted. Due to the large payload, it was necessary to implement collision detection software in the robot program, to prevent mechanical damages in the case of malfunction.
In the metal manufacturing industry, handling heavy parts is labour intensive and can lead to serious injuries. This robotic cell is a new addition to the systems supplied by Apex Automation and Robotics to this industry to improve OH&S and reduce production cost.