July 27, 2022

Consumer Packaging Leader Increases Process Ergonomics with Dual FANUC Robotic Assembly System

Customer Problem

The customer produces plastic closures on several injection molding machines. Parts from the injection molding machines tumble into 60-pound corrugated totes that operators had to manually assemble multiple times per hour, severely decreasing operator efficiency. The process resulted in excessive floor space consumption in the production area of the totes and the components used to make the totes. To develop a more ergonomic process, the customer needed to automate tote assembly in the warehouse for delivery to production to save floor space and operator time.

Adaptec Robotic Tote Assembly Solution

Our solution involves automating the assembly of the totes, moving the tote assembly process out of the production area, and allowing the customer to deploy AGVs to deliver the assembled totes to each production cell as needed.

The system detects and handles two sleeve sizes, assembling each collapsed sleeve to a plastic tray, forming the tote. Using a pair of vision-guided FANUC R-2000iC/210L robots, the trays are cleaned and inspected, placed on a conveyor and a sleeve is unfolded and loaded to the tray at the assembly station. After assembly, each tote is automatically inspected and sorted by size and subsequently introduced to the customer’s normal internal process for assembled totes.

An automated “topper system” places the inverted trays to the top of the loaded totes from production, optimizing the efficiency of the assembly process. Trays delivered to the tote topper system will be picked by one of the FANUC R-2000iC/210L robots and inverted at the re-grip/cleaning station to be placed on top of the tote. Assembled units continue to the end of an offload conveyor for delivery to the customer.

The layout of the system maximizes handling capability and minimizes floor space consumption – one side of the system is suited for warehouse equipment loading and unloading, while the other side is suited for production equipment interaction.

The solution has reduced process labor by 20% over the 15-cell operation, and recovered 25% of floor space in the production environment.

Products used

  • Two FANUC R-2000iC/210L robots
  • FANUC iRVision
  • Custom Piab EOAT
  • Omni Metalcraft multi-strand plastic chain conveyors and roller conveyors
  • Keyence safety light curtains
  • Troax safety fencing

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