Feeding blanks one by one and in a given orientation is a task that almost always occurs during the automation of production. Automatic orientation is based on geometry of workpieces, therefore, as a rule, the supply systems are developed and manufactured to order for a specific task. This is due to the long terms and high cost of manufacturing feed systems for CNC machines and automatic lines, as well as restrictions on the readjustment and reuse of equipment.
Escape from the limitations of orienting devices via solution based on computer vision and robotic manipulator, getting the following benefits:
- Simple and quick introduction - billets are loaded randomly into a hopper, without any ordering
- Readjustment to products of other shapes / sizes without making changes to the equipment design
- No noise and vibrations (in contrast to vibrating feeders)
The solution works according to the following principle:
- blanks are loaded into a hopper (randomly);
- 3D scanning of a hopper with blanks is performed;
- according to 3D scanning data, the position and orientation of the processing workpiece are calculated. These data are transferred to the robot controller;
- robot moves to the specified position and grabs the workpiece at the proper angle;
- the workpiece is fed by a robot into an automatic line or machine.
Such feeding systems can be reconfigured to work with blanks of a different shape without making any changes to the equipment design. Adjustment takes place at the level of blanks recognition software. Such flexibility can be especially important in automation of machines, producing several product types. Of course, in some cases, to change over to another type of workpieces, it may also be necessary to replace a gripper on a robot.
Feeding systems with computer vision can perfectly handle the supply of blanks, automatic mechanical orientation of which is complicated. However, there are some limitations. In case of conveyor cycle less than two seconds, it will most likely not be possible to apply the feed system based on the 3D scanner and a robot. And also difficulties are possible if working with mirror surfaces.
Using a robot and 3D scanner to pick randomly folded blanks is one of the modern approaches that we offer along with other solutions. If you are faced with a task of organizing supply system for a machine, you can leave a request, and we will offer the best solution according to technical conditions and economical expediency.