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Feasibility Study for Bag Palletizing Application

Robot Palletizing Feasibility Study 

The objective of the feasibility study was to integrate a robotic system with the ability to palletize different sized bags onto an outgoing skid with a slip-sheet placed between each palletized layer for a multinational pharmaceutical company.

Phase 1: Project Focus Points

  1. Tested end of arm tooling (EOAT) for consistent bag pick-up.
  2. Tested EOAT for consistent slip-sheet placement.
  3. Tested product drop-off point and stacking pattern required by customer.
  4. Studied cycle time and tested every phase to ensure complete application functionality and success.

Challenges:
The robotic integrator was concerned about the height the bag would be dropped from, if dropping was even necessary. Ideally, the bag would be palletized using a finger gripper, eliminating bag tearing and maintaining the predetermined stacking pattern.

Partial Production Simulation:
The robotic integrator recommended a simulation run including:

  • The completed pallet of product, stacked to the customers satisfaction with correct slip-sheet placement.
  • Tested pick-up, drop-off of product, and slip-sheet placement with respect to the proper palletizing pattern. A full skid of the product would be needed for this test.

Phase 2: Production Tooling and Simulation
The second phase would focus on constructing the components determined from the first phase, running additional tests and full simulation runs with a lab robot and final quoted arm. A full production run simulation will be performed before shipping the system to the customer.

Phase 3: Shipping, Installation, Training and Production
Phase three is the initial production stage which includes installation and training. The robot integrator would begin familiarizing the customer's staff with programming associated with the system, allowing for easy transition from installation to production.

  1. Two eight-hour days of training at the robot integrator's facility.
  2. Breakdown and ship system to customer's facility.
  3. Begin on-site support, including training at the customer's facility by a member of robot integrator's engineering staff. The allotted time would be two weeks with one technician. Final integration to the customer line will also be conducted. Safety fencing, interfacing light curtains would be erected. Any PLC work would be finished at this time along with the final integration to the existing line at customer.
  4. Begin production at customer's facility with finished robotic system.