August 24, 2022

Metal Forging Company Implements Keyence Vision Bin Picking System

Customer Problem

The customer was interested in automating their manual bin picking process with a robotic bin picking solution. Before automating, an operator had to use a magnet suspended overhead by a crane to move the billets. This prevented the operator from heavy lifting but did not eliminate the process of guiding the magnet onto the billets for picking, creating safety and ergonomic issues. The operator then had to place the billets on the inclined gravity table to queue it for entry into the furnace. Due to the nature of picking and moving the heavy billets with a magnet, a lot of injuries occurred including broken or pinched fingers.

Adaptec Bin Picking Solution

Adaptec engineered a robotic bin picking system to be easily customizable and capable of integrating into a wide variety of forging environments. With Keyence RB-1200 vision and a FANUC r-2000iC robot, the system automates the dangerous and mundane task of loading raw billets into induction furnaces.

Keyence’s 3D vision sensor scans the bin to determine location data for pickable billets before the Magswitch end-of-arm tool, pneumatically actuated to engage magnets, is placed over a pickable billet by the FANUC r-2000iC robot.

The robot raises the billet out of the bin and presents it to a secondary 2D camera that determines part presence, part offset from TCP, and gross check on OAL. The robot then travels to a gravity infeed conveyor and places it at the place zone.

Automating the bin picking process produces numerous benefits including labor savings, improved ergonomics and safety, decreased footprint, reliability of FANUC robotics, throughput capability of up to 360+ picks per hour, customizability, part inspection, part tracking, and easy-to-use machine interface for operators.

Products used

  • FANUC r-2000iC robot 
  • 3D bin picking vision – can integrate either FANUC 3DVor Keyence RB-1200 
  • Magswitch magnetic EOAT – magnet size and pole show design selected for specific applications
  • Static buffer stand
  • Part infeed tables and conveyors – multiple options available to infeed raw billets to various furnace types
  • Safety guarding – customizable for fork truck access to load/unload bins (designs are delivered with risk assessment performed per RIA standards
  • Integrated controls package – user-friendly HMI screen, PLC, remote access hub for remote diagnostics and support after install

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