Things to consider when automating material handling applications

Dec 13, 2018

Automated material handling can tackle a wide range of applications in a manner that saves time, space, and money for manufacturers. If you are considering integrating an automation system onto the production line, it is important to consider a few factors that go into the system. Contact Robots.com representatives today to get started with your material handling integration process.

Material handling automation with robots

Robot mate­r­i­al han­dling is defined as move­ment, pack­ag­ing or stor­ing of mate­ri­als in a man­ner that saves time, space, and mon­ey. When ready to auto­mate a mate­r­i­al han­dling appli­ca­tion, we rec­om­mend you con­sid­er all the fac­tors that go into lay­ing out a good, pro­duc­tive robot sys­tem for your facil­i­ty. Robots are an invest­ment and it’s key that robot­ic inte­gra­tion is done right, the first time. Here are some items to delib­er­ate in order to pre­pare you for the smoothest, most effi­cient inte­gra­tion for mate­r­i­al handling:

1. What type of mate­r­i­al han­dling sys­tem is needed? 

At Robot­worx, you can choose from part selection/​order pick­ing, trans­fer­ring, pack­ing, pal­letiz­ing, load­ing and unload­ing, machine feed­ing or dis­en­gag­ing. With­in each appli­ca­tion, robot sys­tems vary by equip­ment size, mate­r­i­al, method, and func­tion. There are large ranges of pay­load, foot­prints, and work envelopes. We have a list of which indus­tri­al robots are best for your mate­r­i­al han­dling appli­ca­tions, or you can also con­tact our sales team for detailed options.

2. Any spe­cif­ic robot require­ments needed? 

For instance, clean­room robots are spe­cial­ly designed to not put as many par­ti­cles into the air as oth­ers. Food-grade robots pro­mote a more ster­il­ized envi­ron­ment and take more pre­cise counts dur­ing pro­duc­tion. Does your robot need to be dust or water resistant?

3. What OSHA and robot­ic stan­dards must be met? 

The Occu­pa­tion­al Safe­ty and Health Admin­is­tra­tion has set stan­dards to keep employ­ees safe and nation­al con­sen­sus stan­dards relat­ed to robotics.

4. What is the lay­out of our facility? 

Facil­i­ty lay­out and space avail­able are extreme­ly impor­tant to the design phase of your sys­tem. Mate­r­i­al han­dling robot­ics have dif­fer­ent foot­prints and mount­ing options to fit per­fect­ly in your spe­cif­ic lay­out. Safe­ty guards such as work­cells or cur­tains may be required. 

5. What type of tool­ing will be required? 

Iden­ti­fy the type of end-of-arm-tool­ing or grip­per required to maneu­ver your prod­uct. Dif­fer­ent robot brands have dif­fer­ent options avail­able. We can also build a cus­tomized EOAT tool­ing if needed.

6. What pow­er sup­plies are required? 

Know what pow­er sources and hookups are avail­able in your cur­rent facil­i­ty. We car­ry a wide vari­ety of pow­er sources. Some are more com­pat­i­ble to spe­cif­ic robots, which we can help you iden­ti­fy exact­ly which one is right for your robot system.

7. Who will pro­gram and man­age the robot system? 

Dis­cuss the type of soft­ware avail­able and check for com­pat­i­bil­i­ty with cur­rent sys­tems. This will also help deter­mine the type of con­troller you want to use.

8. What train­ing comes with the han­dling robot? 

Most inte­gra­tors do not pro­vide train­ing with a robot pur­chase. Robots​.com offers a thor­ough, free train­ing with all robot sys­tems. You can see every­thing includ­ed in our train­ing, here.

Robots​.com has over 35 years of expe­ri­ence inte­grat­ing mate­r­i­al han­dling robots and work­cells. We know automa­tion is a big deci­sion and can help walk you through the entire process to ensure you are going to get the best return on your investment. 

Fill out a con­tact form or call us at 8777626881 to talk direct­ly to one of our sales reps or robot technicians. 

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