As personel is becoming increasingly scarce, supply chains increasingly complex and shopfloor space increasingly costly, the ability to efficiently automate low-value-add tasks such as machine tending with little to no manual intervention in the necessary pick-and-place process is becoming a competitive advantage across industries.
At Danfoss, a Danish manufacturer of mobile hydraulics as well as electronic and electrical components, robotic systems equipped with 3D robot vision sensors now reliably and precisely recognize and move a large number of different components.
In the new production line implemented by Danish integrator Quality Robot Systems (QRS), a total of six KUKA robots take over work steps that were previously performed manually. For this, the robotic cells must recognize and move up to 100 different components with no manual intervention.
“The requirement for the robotic cells at Danfoss was a fully automatic feeding of the components with no manual intervention. Obviously, this task can only be solved with a robot vision system, given the large number of variations,” explains Olav K. Sjørslev, Sales Manager at KUKA integration partner QRS.
The alternative, namely feeding the blanks meticulously ordered and aligned, was simply not economically feasible.
Instead, the objects arrive at the first robot station in standard roll boxes. They are sorted by box, however, the boxes are stacked on top of each other more or less indiscriminately. Furthermore, paper sheets seperate the layers of objects.
“Before this project, our experience with camera systems in the past was not particularly good. We looked into various systems over the past decade, but did not find a single 3D vision solution that met our needs.
What works at a trade fair or in a manufacturer’s demonstration room is often not viable under real-world conditions.”
Quality Robot Systems (QRS) is a Danish KUKA System Partner and expert in industrial robotic automation that can take care of everything from the initial planning and design to the delivery, installation and servicing of a new robot cell. About 35 employees work from headquarters in Vissenbjerg and on-site at customer sites throughout Denmark. A large subcontractor base helps create and supply peripheral equipment for the automation systems.
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