Posted at 19-Feb-2021

Positively impacting production using robots

Paul Skade
By Mark Carpenter
Product Manager, Industrial Hose

I am a former Engineer on Submarines in the Royal Navy and got in to the Hose industry in 2010 becoming the UK Sales Manager for Norres in 2014, ERIKS was my majo...

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Order fulfilment is a vital part to any transaction. It’s essentially the part of the process whereby the product begins its journey into the hands of the customer. And as we know, providing the customer’s order in the shortest time possible is always part of the service.

 

In the past, it could have taken up to five people to manage a conventional manual picking process; someone in the warehouse to pick the order, someone to bring it to the line, someone to verify it, someone to kit it, and finally, someone to pack and ship it.

But now, thanks to innovations in robotics, this process is now faster, easier and more efficient.

Now even more collaborative

Ergonomic, safe and adaptable, Piab’s gripping and moving solutions such as piCOBOT® are specifically designed to enhance your overall working environment, operating as an ‘extra pair of hands.’ When mounted onto a collaborative robot, this user-friendly solution promises to:

  • Increase productivity and energy efficiency
  • Eliminate risk of injury
  • Increase speed and reliability
  • Increase uptime and operational savings
 

Powerful and modular, the piCOBOT® can be configured to work with any collaborative robot and other smaller industrial robots, as well as multiple options for mechanical mounting plate dimensions in accordance with the ISO 9409-1 standard. Originally only certified to work with cobots from Universal Robots, the piCOBOT® system has now, through offering generic compatibility, answered the calls from many manufacturers of cobots to incorporate their innovative range of End Of Arm Tools thereby offering a higher degree of configurability.

Through a user-friendly online configuration tool, Piab’s customer now has the option to choose between a generic electrical interface, including a standard cable or one specified by Universal Robots. Customers can also choose various different mechanical interfaces, extended its potential application range.

Designed to be fitted to the end of any type of cobot arm, piCOBOT® provides optimal payload capacity and only weighs 720g inclusive of the gripper. Despite its minimal weight, it still has the capacity to lift objects weighing up to 7kg. That’s nearly 10 times its own weight.

Thanks to the multistage and highly efficiency COAX® cartridges, the high flow capacity of piCOBOT® is truly outstanding. It can grip anything from very porous to sealed materials. 

Operating with a vacuum system based on COAX® technology provides users with three times more vacuum flow than conventional systems, increasing speed, maintaining reliability and reducing energy consumption.

The compact format and a low build height of only 69mm allows piCOBOT® to be installed and effortlessly operated in space-restricted areas. It is also combined with adjustable and flexible grippers that can be fitted with a variety of different suction cups.

Grabbing those savings

One large logistics company required a flexible, modular automation system that would effortlessly integrate with their existing work cell to accurately pick and pack items into the correct boxes at their fulfilment centre.

Following simulated research to determine the most suitable peripherals, the customer chose to deploy Universal Robots’ UR10e cobot in conjunction with Piab’s piCOBOT® gripper – a UR+ certified product – and a DataLogic camera that has the ability to scan multiple barcodes simultaneously, or can part of a number and serial number.

 

Making that decision, they quickly realised a 500% increase in efficiency, 50% savings in labour, a three month return on investment and 100% order accuracy – a significant all-round improvement, and one that all businesses attempt to discover.

The customer’s President commented: “What we have seen is up to a 500% increase in productivity by using robots. The ROI has so far been three months, although we expect the time to ROI to decrease as we continue to integrate more robots.”

 

When a robot replaces a worker to complete a task, the worker can then be reallocated to another part of the production line, or even be trained specifically to manage and maintain the robot itself, effectively expanding your working capacity without employing additional team members. This is particularly ideal during peak seasons.

As technology continues to evolve, Piab continues to create smart solutions for the automated world, centred on improving energy efficiency and productivity, removing the stress associated with menial, although important tasks. This, in essence, allows their customer to focus their efforts and resource on other areas of business, grabbing those vital savings along the way.

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