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21 September 2021

Bin Picking as part of industry 4.0

In Werdohl in North Rhine-Westphalia, an impressive real-life application of the Industry 4.0 concept is currently being created - the demo factory Z4. The concept is that the machine is only the executing part and the blank or part itself carries the information about what it is to become, which process steps are necessary and which parameters are ideal for machining. Automation of the entire process steps is essential for a smooth production process that runs smoothly despite supply bottlenecks, different tool conditions, and a wide variety of quantities. The ultimate goal is to achieve the highest possible OEE value ("Overall Equipment Effectiveness"). To achieve this, interlocking software solutions provide support at various points. The opening is scheduled for 30.09.2021, so from then on you will have access to information and real live demos on site to experience how something like this is implemented according to your own needs.

The challenges

The demo factory Z4 starts with the blank, which in this use case leaves the factory as a finished pinion shaft. The part passes through the process steps of sawing, turning, gear cutting, grinding, milling and washing. Each step has its own cycle time and feeding requirements. To ensure that the overall process nevertheless has the highest possible output, a supermarket is of great help as an intermediate buffer. In this way, the tension triangle between handling time, process time and piece counts is resolved. The logistics between the individual steps and the supermarket place great demands on the solutions in the field.

In these cases, robots play a crucial role as flexible handling systems. The parts to be processed have different geometries depending on the process step, and must be gripped and fed differently. This requires powerful yet flexible recognition of the parts. The bin-picking software must recognize the different grips and move the robot to the appropriate coordinates without collision. In addition, manufacturing companies have their own favorite robot manufacturers as well as different operations for on-site setup.


Mikado Control as a solution

This is where Mikado Control comes into its own. The coordinated overall package of 3D industrial camera, search algorithm as well as bin picking software ensures high reliability and at the same time offers room for individual adjustments. Thus, each 3D camera can be individually adapted to the crate or the field of view in the application on the basis of a modular construction kit. Even simpler 2D tasks such as barcode reading are possible.

Mikado Control as a full-featured bin picking solution offers simple graphical parameterization for the handles and the sequence program, allowing fast commissioning or teach-in of new parts. A full simulation environment is part of the software solution. It allows the entire cell to be modeled, so that part recognition, handles, sequence programming and robot movement can be tested and optimized before assembly. Integrated path planning with collision monitoring throughout the cell ensures trouble-free movement of the robot, including attachments and the gripped part. Smooth control of the robot is ensured by deep integration of the commercially available suppliers KUKA, ABB, FANUC, Stäubli, Mitsubishi, fruitcore, Techman, UR and Doosan. Furthermore, Mikado Control recognizes the real crate position and adjusts all poses of the robot accordingly. This allows, for example, the feeding of a pallet to be easily performed by the forklift or pallet truck.

The gripped component often still has to be inspected for quality purposes. Mikado Control offers the possibility to integrate such tests and Optonic can supply this test station directly in hardware and software. Feeding is thus combined with quality monitoring and avoids expensive rejects as well as unnecessary processing steps.

The entire Mikado product family also provides other solutions for gripping to solve simpler tasks such as picking components from a tray or conveyor belt. Such applications put the focus on a particularly favorable price. For this purpose, Mikado Find is available, a lean package of camera, search algorithm and software for finding the parts. For automation, there is every freedom in movement and program sequence, so that even Scara robots or axis systems are no problem.


Training location

The demo factory Z4 is a training concept for all interested people. There you will learn how each individual process step can be automated, which software tools monitor the entire process and how the logistics for so many production steps can be optimally designed. Behind all this is Ulrich Remmel with his decades of experience in machining tasks. You can reach him here: Click. On the homepage you can find more information: Click.

Optonic will be available at the opening and all training dates with a live demo on site as well as a presentation and of course time for questions. We look forward to fruitful discussions and your challenges.

21 September 2021Manfred Winter
Manfred Winter Sales Manager DACh +49 761 15436 205 manfred.winter@optonic.com
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