Case Study – Palletising System

The brief from our customer was to design and build a system that would automate the in-process loading of existing cable winding facility and the palletising of finished cable products, ready for shipment to their clients.

One of the first design requirements was for an adaptor that was capable of handling both cable roll components and pallets. The first step in the sequence is for the robot is to collect the pallet handling adaptor and transfer an empty pallet via robot motion onto the outfeed roller conveyor, where it is datumed via a pneumatic side guide. The robot then places the adaptor onto its support stand and then transfers to the preloaded pallet of empty cable rolls. The robot is now ready to start the next stage in the process sequence, loading empty cable rolls into the clients existing cable winding process machine.

Before the robot can start handling the cable rolls, a scan check of the pallet is undertaken, via an integrated robot vision system together with a laser distance sensor, to understand the location and heights of the rolls. The robot then calculates where to position the gripper, to allow it to accurately pick a cable roll and place it on to the winding process feed conveyor.

When the cable winding process is complete, the robot collects the finished product from the cable winding outfeed conveyor and transfers it to the pallet located on the palletising system outfeed conveyor, placing the cable roll in a predetermined position. This is repeated with placement positions varying to produce pallet layers to a predetermined pallet height. Once complete, the full pallet is transferred via the outfeed roller conveyor to the wrapper station. Here the pallet is rotated on a turntable and wrapped in plastic film.

The finished pallet is then transferred from the wrapper to the end of the roller out feed conveyor for removal using a forklift truck to despatch.