Material Handling

AUTOMATE MORE TASKS

Moving parts from point A to point B is physically demanding, but often necessary work on a production line.

For a robot, the same task is often impossible because point A and point B are moving targets. The racks, stacks, pallets, conveyors, and AGV’s transporting parts around factories rarely have tight tolerances. Because of this variability, robots struggle to be an effective material handling tool.

Thus, many material handling tasks – especially when transferring parts onto or off of a line - are still done manually.

Liberty Reach guidance gives robots the hand-eye coordination necessary to expand the possibilities of automating material handling tasks.

VPick Mixed Case Palletizing

PALLETIZING

Mixed Case Palletizing

A poorly packed pallet is at best inefficient and at worst dangerous. The pallet could lean or tip during transit and is likely to fall apart when unwrapped at its final destination.

Manual labor can ensure a tight pack, but the work is physically demanding - a vision guided robot does not fatigue or experience a decrease in productivity.

VPick™ calculates box position and orientation at the end of a conveyor, allowing a robot to pick each box with precision. Precision picking and placing yields a tightly packed pallet.

Where used: general industry, food & beverage

Mixed Case De-Palletizing

Unloading pallets by hand is physically demanding work. Using a robot is faster, safer, and more economical, but unguided robots can only unload a pallet if the size, position, and orientation of all boxes are known or consistent. This level of precision and consistency in box placement is a difficult standard to maintain.

VPick™ allows a robot to quickly and accurately move boxes from a pallet to a conveyor despite varying box sizes, positions, and orientations.

An overhead 3D sensor finds the easiest box to pick, calculates its position & orientation, and sends the information directly to the robot.

VPick™ is a simple upgrade that helps automate mixed case de-palletizing, freeing up human labor for other tasks.

Where used: general industry, food & beverage

PICKING PARTS

Picking Parts (With Unknown Position / Orientation)

Every day parts are transported through factories in racks, stacks, pallets, conveyors, and AGV’s. When they reach their final destination, the challenge becomes picking a part with a position that may vary by ±50 mm and ±5° and moving it to a fixture with a tolerance of ±1 mm and ±0.5°. Simple for a human, hard for a robot.

Adding V-Guide™ to a robot enables automation where it was not possible. With a single 3D image, V-Guide™ finds a part's (x,y,z) position and (a,b,c) orientation, ensuring a precise pick and transfer to a fixture with the shortest possible cycle time.

Reduce human labor, eliminate centering fixtures, use less floor space, and simplify part racks with V-Guide™.

Where used: press shop, body weld, plastics, paint, castings, general assembly, etc.

Pick from conveyor

De-Racking

De-racking parts is challenging to automate. The shape and position of racks are inconsistent, and parts can be loaded incorrectly or shift during transport.

Rather than requiring racks and part positions to be identical every time, guiding a robot with V-Guide™ allows for real world variations.

Over time parts are bound to shift and racks get banged up from hundreds or thousands of use cycles. V-Guide™ ensures a robot can handle carrier variation as things change.

V-Guide™ quickly calculates the position of parts individually, so the robot makes a precise pick from a rack every time.

Pick from Conveyor

Transferring bumpers from a conveyor to paint racks is nearly impossible to automate for an un-guided robot. Even when the robot makes a pick, it isn’t precise or repeatable enough to place into the rack correctly.

Adding V-Guide™ to the robot allows for accurate repeated pick & place.

A 2-sensor V-Guide™ system calculates the bumper offset. With a known offset, the robot adjusts to make a precise pick every time.

V-Guide Picking Part from Stack

Pick from Stack

Keeping parts neat in a stack is the goal for all manufacturers, but perfection is not always guaranteed. When the robot makes a proper pick, the stack is not always aligned properly. Without 3D vision, the robot will still pick from these uneven stacks, potentially causing problems further down the line.

V-Guide™ ensures the robot will adjust to the individual part’s location.

A 2-sensor V-Guide™ system calculates the part offset for every possible pose. With a known offset, the robot adjusts to make a precise pick every time.

Pick from AGV

Automated Guidance Vehicles are efficient and beneficial for production yield. Parts can shift in the rack, which can lead to inaccurate pick and place.

V-Guide™ provides enhanced vision guidance to optimize picking from Automated Guidance Vehicles.

A 2-sensor V-Guide™ system calculates the part offset. With a known offset, the robot adjusts to make a precise pick every time.

VGuide Picking from an Automated Guided Vehicle

PLACING PARTS (ONTO UNKNOWN POSITION)

Placing parts onto unknown position

Racking

Manual labor is still the most widely used method for racking parts. A human can see and adjust to each rack – a robot can’t. Or at least, it couldn’t.

V-Guide™ allows a robot to find the precise position & orientation on the rack to place the part. Even as racks are banged up over time, V-Guide™ ensures efficient robotic racking.

Stacking

Stacks easily shift. When they do, a robot will struggle to add more panels. Robot guidance helps the robot adjust as the stack does.

Where used: press shop, body weld, plastics, castings, general assembly, etc.

Robot stacking items

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