Modern manufacturing environments are full of pick-and-place robots. This type of automation makes it easier to pick up items or parts and then place them in other places easier than ever. This process can be used to improve production rates. Pick-and-place robots can perform repetitive tasks, while human workers can focus on more difficult work.
How Robots Work Exactly
They are typically mounted on a sturdy stand so they can reach various areas for work. Advanced vision systems enable them to locate, grab and move objects. Pick and place robots come in a range of configuration options. They can be equipped with different end-of-arm tools for various applications such as bin picking, packaging, or assembly. They can be used to pick items up and place them in boxes for packaging. They also have the ability to pick up components for assembly and transport them to their next location.
Different Types of Pick-and-Place Robots
There are many types of pick-and-place robots, especially in the food packaging automation field. Here are some of them
These are the most popular types of pick and place robots. Standard pick-and-place applications can be handled by a 5-axis robot arm. This robot is capable of moving objects in one plane. For more complicated applications, such as when objects need to be twisted or reoriented before being placed in a new location, a 6-axis robotic arms robot is the one doing the job
Similar to a 6-axis robotic arm, Cartesian Robots can work in multiple planes. They can move in three orthogonal directions (X, Y, and Z) using Cartesian coordinates. You can use any type of linear actuator as well as a variety of drive mechanisms like a belt, ball, or lead-screw mechanism to build them. They are more precise than 6-axis robotic arms in positioning accuracy.
These robots are used to pick up items and place them in containers or assembly patterns. Delta robots use advanced vision technology that allows them to recognize different sizes, shapes, and colors. There are many configurations of them. Most of them operate on four axes. These robots have rather heavy motors attached to a frame. Lightweight arms are connected to linking rods that connect to each arm. This allows for movement.
The fast pick robots can be used in medium- to high-volume applications that require high-velocity SKUs. The picking process is fully automated by fast pick robots, allowing the human workforce to concentrate on more important tasks. These robots are ideal for picking up “top-off” items quickly, such as promotional items or batteries. These robots can retrieve up to 300 SKUs an hour from a collection of 8 SKUs.
Their purpose is to enhance the work of humans by leading their associates to choose locations and guiding them through each task. Collaborative robots are intended to aid associates in their work by optimizing routes and keeping them on task.
Robotic Pick-and-Place Applications
Pick and place robots are used in many manufacturing processes, but they can also be used for inspection, packaging, bin picking, and other applications. Here are some examples of pick-and-place robots used in manufacturing.
Pick and Place Robots are used in assembly applications to grab parts from one place, such as a conveyor. Then, place the part or attach it to another item. The two parts that have been joined are then moved to the next assembly location.
Pick and Place Robots are used to place items in packaging containers.
Robots that pick up parts and items from bins are used in bin picking applications. These robots are equipped with high-tech vision systems that allow them to identify color, shape, and size so they can pick the right item even in bins containing random items. The parts and items are then shipped to another location for assembly, packaging, or shipping.
Robots that pick up and place objects for inspection purposes are equipped with advanced vision systems. They can detect anomalies, identify and remove parts and items and place them in the designated area.
Pick and Place Robots: Benefits
Pick and place robots have two main benefits: speed and consistency. Robots can easily be programmed to be used in multiple applications and can be customized for specific production needs. Pick and place robots can be designed in many different ways. They are small and light, which makes them great for applications that require limited space.
Pick-and-place robots can increase production by aiding in the order pick and packaging process in warehouse settings. These robots also offer a good return on investment for manufacturers. Pick and place robots can be used in both manual and automated settings to relieve operators and associates of repetitive, monotonous work. This increases productivity and reduces the strain on workers who are often required to perform these tasks.
How to Pick the Best Pick-and-Place Robot
Pick and Place robots are able to perform virtually any material handling operation cost-effectively and with efficiency. There are many options available on the market, and it can be difficult to find one that meets your needs. Let’s take a look at some features and factors to help you make the right choice when buying a pick-and-place robot.
Number of Axes
The pick-and-place robot’s freedom and mobility are determined by the number of axes. More axes mean more flexibility and movement, so it is better to have more than less. Four to five axes are recommended for order fulfillment robots that place items onto a conveyor, picking container, or directly into a packing container. For applications where the robot must rotate or move linearly, six or more axes would be preferable.
The part of the work area that defines the maximum distance a pick-and-place robot can move items is called reach. To determine if the robot is suitable for your operation, it must be able to pick and place objects with high precision. The robot’s maximum horizontal reach is measured from its center to the custom-made end of the arm tool or the gripper. The robot’s maximum vertical reach is the distance from its lowest point (usually its base) to the highest height that it can reach.
Repeatability refers to a robot’s ability to pick up and drop items in the same place for every routine it performs. Robots that can perform high-precision tasks, such as the construction of an electronic circuit board, need to be repeatable and have a very small tolerance radius. Pick and place robots should have a tolerance radius of approximately 0.5mm for order fulfillment operations.
Pick and place robots are essential for increasing productivity and efficiency, as well. They must be able to consistently handle material handling operations at the required speed. The speed indicated on a robot’s specification sheet is usually in degrees per second. This can range from 0 to maximum speed. You should ensure that your pick-and-place robot can perform the operation at the speed that you require. A Pick and place robot should be able to handle large demand periods at a comfortable speed.
Vision and Configuration
Robots that pick and place can be:
- A scara or articulated robot, fixed with rotary arms and three vertical axes.
- Aspherical robot that can perform one linear and two rotating movements
- A cylindrical robot that can move in the horizontal, vertical, and rotational directions
Although pick-and-place robots can be flexible, their dimensions, product-handlingnozzles, and way of movement may limit their flexibility in some cases. These factors affect their ability to handle the items they can carry and where they can be deployed. The vision guidance system must be sophisticated enough that it can identify multiple items from a variety of SKUs.
Payload refers to the maximum weight that a robot can move from one place to the next. This includes the product being picked as well as the robot’s end-of-arm tooling. Pick and place robots must be capable of lifting the largest item in your inventory, fully extending their arms, and placing it precisely.
As a Final: What is the Cost of Pick-and-Place Robots?
The right pick-and-place robots can be a huge benefit to logistics operators. Businesses must automate order fulfillment to meet rising consumer demand and decrease labor supply.
Pick and place robots can perform pick tasks accurately, reliably, and precisely — without having to take breaks or be susceptible to fatigue, errors, and environmental distractions. Although such precision and automation should be expensive, the initial cost of a pick-and-place robot is only a few thousand dollars.
Because businesses don’t have to make significant infrastructure changes to their warehouse spaces, installation time is minimal. Pick and place robots that are right for you can be up and running in no time.
They require very little maintenance, despite the advanced technology involved in making them. Businesses can perform all maintenance themselves by following the right cleaning and maintenance procedures. Pick and place robots are much more affordable than other warehouse automation technologies.
Companies can gain a competitive advantage by investing in pick-and-place robots to maximize their productivity and increase their efficiency.