Dynamic Conveyor Picking - Midwest Engineered Systems

The Challenge

This labor-intensive job was automated with a number of robotic systems to reduce labor injuries, factory noise, and to increase production throughput with factory automation by 10%-20%.

The Solution

Midwest Engineered Systems Inc. (MWES), a leader in automated production line integration, provided a random conveyor robotic picking system using recirculating conveyors, vision systems, and industrial robot integration.

  • Recirculating Conveyors
    • Allows for buffering of parts
    • Parts pass through scanners and are presented to robots without human interface.
    • Conveyor part tracking to pick parts “on the fly” off of the re-circulation conveyors
  • Vision Systems
    • SICK PLB technology mounted above conveyors on tracking slides to locate randomly conveyed parts
    • 3D vision system uses a laser distance system to monitor part location and position
    • Vision system locates parts on moving conveyor and directs each of the robots for proper gripping position
  • Robotic Automation
    • 3 Fanuc robots with magnetic end of arm tools (EOATs) for part picking:
    • FANUC vision technology for part verification and exact location determination on magnet
    • Robots properly space parts on outgoing roller conveyors
    • Automated tool changers are used to switch between small and large magnetic grippers
    • Process Testing & Install – All equipment was setup in the MWES facility for production trial runs and testing before installation. Final runoff testing was conducted at the customer’s site to ensure the system met all requirements

Impact to the Customer

The final robotic picking system provided the customer with the following benefits:

  • Less than 2 Year Return on Investment
  • Removed staff from a dangerous and hot work environment & decreased workforce injuries
  • Increased productivity by 10% – 20%
  • Increased quality and temperature control due to a steady flow of product to the heat treat process
  • Noise reduction

For more information on this equipment or other web handling needs please contact MWES.