Case Studies / Palletizing / Cases of Medical Products

Motoman Robot Handling and PalletizingSystem meets or exceeds all project goals and objectives. Robot system easily palletizes one case per minute, which is 50 percent faster than required production rate of one case every 90 seconds. Robot system palletizes product up to six layers high, and also handles tier sheets, as required. System places products on scale for weight inspection, presents cases that pass inspection to an automatic labeler, and creates consistent, stable loads with labels facing out. Flexible system reduces need for manual labor.

Project Challenges

  • Fully automate the case palletizing process, including weight inspection and case labeling (on two opposing sides), and reduce need for manual labor.
  • Create more consistent and stable unit loads.
  • Maximize throughput by limiting downtime, and reduce costs by improving productivity and flexibility.
  • Palletize small and large cases that are sealed with tape, as well as optional tier sheets, onto standard 1,219.2 mm L x 1,016 mm W x 133.4 mm H (48" L x 40" W x 5.25" H) wooden pallets. Small cases are approximately 511.2 mm L x 374.7 mm W x 381 mm H (20.125" L x 14.75" W x 15" H) and weigh 5.4-8.2 kg (12-18 lbs). Large cases are approximately 511.2 mm L x 514.4 mm W x 381 mm H (20.125" L x 20.25" W x 15" H) and weigh 13.2 kg (29 lbs).
  • Palletize loads up to six rows (2,286 mm/90") H, excluding pallet. Stacking patterns vary depending on case size. Each pallet is dedicated to one product (i.e. unit loads are not mixed).
  • Accommodate production rate of 40 cases per hour (one case produced every 90 seconds).

Motoman Robotics Solution

  • Motoman Robotics provided an SP80X palletizing system, including:
  • Motoman SP80X robot with XRC 2001 controller. Robot base riser and S-axis stop.
  • Operator station, including alarm light and pushbuttons for Servo-on, Teach and Play, Remote Mode, Hold, Start and E-stop. All controls except E-stop include indicator lights.
  • Remote playback box – allows E-stop, Hold, Start, Mode Change, and Cycle Change from remote location.
  • Custom end-of-arm tooling – vacuum gripper to handle one case or tier sheet per pick.
  • Pallet locator consisting of L-shaped steel frames and photo-eye pallet-present sensors.
  • Tier-sheet rack. Aluminum rack holds 457.2 mm (18") stack of tier-sheets. Includes low level/empty sensor and provides access for manual loading.
  • Infeed conveyor – 3.35-m (11') lineshaft-type with three accumulation zones, skewed roller section, reducers, controls package, stops and sensors. Speed is 18.3-m (60') per minute.
  • Scale – analog scale with 68.2 kg (150-lb) capacity and 6-digit, 25.4 mm (1") H, high-contrast LCD display.
  • Labeler – side-tamp unit handles standard 114.3 mm (4.5") web width, 254 mm (10") O.D. roll with 76.2 mm (3") core.
  • Cell guarding package that meets ANSI/RIA R15.06-1999 safety standard. Includes 2.4-m (8') H woven-wire perimeter safety fence, two access gates with positive-break safety switches, and cable tray.

Fixtures/Tooling Details

Motoman Robotics provided a single-zone vacuum gripper to handle one case or tier-sheet per pick. Gripper has extruded aluminum frame and includes four vacuum generators with integral sensors.

Ref: ACS-085

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