Robotic Palletizing & Automated Guided Vehicle - Midwest Engineered Systems

The Challenge

Midwest Engineered Systems Inc. built an automated manufacturing process for material handling of 20 cardboard boxes per minute, for a palletizing and stretch wrapping operation. In addition, MWES created an automated guided vehicle (AGV) system that was able to handle 10 palate loads per hour.


The Solution

After a full evaluation of the project’s challenges and goals, Midwest Engineered Systems provided the customer a complete Fanuc robot automation based solution, which included:

  • Fanuc Robots: Each robot system includes an R-2000iB Robot with a 165 kg load capacity and 2.655 m reach, two auxiliary servo motors and drives, material handling package software, and a robot cable solution from 7th axis to end effector
  • Dynamic Servo Actuated End Effector: Allows for active adjustment between picks for various box sizes, has an active vacuum control for paired cup sets to allow combinations of box placement, offsets riser for proper end effector elevation, includes valves, sensor connector banks, and flow sensors – all optimized for the specified Fanuc robot automation systems
  • AGV – Autonomous Fork Lift: MWES provided integration services to design, install and start-up of the single truck system including fork lift, navigation system, vehicle controller, I/O controller, various I/O devices and sensors, safety sensors and interfaces and, miscellaneous materials necessary to integrate AGV system components.
  • Pallet Locator Weldments: Welded and painted pallet locators supported the loads, provided clearance for the AGV to index under the loads, primed and painted surface finish.
  • Robot Floortrack: Heavy boxed rails transport Fanuc robot along the conveyors and pallet locations, E-chain Assembly, Machine Tool Grade Guide Way, and Power Train.
  • Fourteen Motor Driven Roller Infeed Conveyor: Skewed roller configuration with side pusher assembly for two zone capabilities.
  • Fourteen Pneumatic Side Pusher Assemblies: each incoming box conveyor has (2) pushers, one pusher traps the boxes, separating a gap with the boxes to be picked, another side pusher moves the boxes against the side rail for alignment.
  • Two MWES Pallet Dispensers: Device provides automatic dispensing of white pallets with a storage capacity of twenty pallets each
  • PLC & HMI Touchscreen Display: An Allen-Bradley ControlLogix processor, an Allen-Bradley Panelview 1000+ color display was integrated in the factory automation system, the components display the cell status, error codes, and manual operations, as well as an I/O debug screen – all in easy to read displays.

Impact to the Customer

  • The automation system produced savings on labor for stacking pallets
  • It created a more consistent quality of stacked pallet
  • The MWES system reduced work injuries from lifting of empty pallets
  • The Fanuc robot automation based manufacturing system improved overall customer manufacturing operations

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