Project Detail

Simplimatic designed and integrated a FANUC M-710iC cell and a FANUC R-2000iC system to de-tray fragile vials and palletize full trays. The systems are completely custom, designed to perfectly suit the customer’s facility, product, line throughput, and budget. Simplimatic utilized custom controls, software, and programming to ensure zero downtime using features such as more than 20 error-recovery scenarios.

Our standard quality construction

For over 50 years the Simplimatic brand has been synonymous with quality and longevity throughout the manufacturing and packaging sectors. Simplimatic provides conveyor systems, robotics, and custom factory automation for a variety of manufacturing, assembly, and packaging operations worldwide. Simplimatic is committed to developing smart and simple solutions to help solve complex challenges. Simplimatic is also dedicated to the on-time delivery of quality products at a competitive price and is backed by the best customer support in the industry.

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After integration within the customer’s facility, the two custom systems are designed to:

  • Efficiently de-tray and palletize two sizes of fragile and expensive product vials
  • Dramatically increase throughput
  • Decrease cycle time through the reduction of manual processes
  • Decrease worker error and fatigue
  • Feature worker-friendly controls
  • Function as a completely-customized material handling solution

Client : Medical Care Manufacturer

Location : United States

Completed : December 2016

Description : Custom de-traying and palletizing cell 

Description

For the de-traying cell Simplimatic utilized a FANUC M-710iC which features the payload, reach, and repeatability to efficiently handle the fragile products. The FANUC was paired with a custom in-feed table and tray trolley.

The robot carefully picks up the tray of product, placing on the in-feed table where it is transferred to a de-traying unit using a tray trolley. The custom-designed de-traying unit uses a sharp shelf which slides under the product to raise them to a connected conveyor.  After de-traying, the empty tray is removed by the robot and re-palletized.

Simplimatic also created a palletizing system for the full trays. These two systems were placed around a pre-existing product inspection machine. After the products are removed from the trays they are inspected by the customer’s machine and the second Simplimatic system is then utilized to palletize product.

The FANUC R-2000iC palletizing system begins by picking up full trays of vials and feeding them into a labeling machine where they are stamped with a batch and tray number. The palletizer then stacks the trays in volumes of 96 or 60 trays. On the other side of the robot is a pallet of empty trays which the robot picks and places onto a table located near the company’s inspection machine’s tilted drawers. The tray is moved and placed at the correct angle by Simplimatic’s custom automated pick and place device with vacuum cups. The empty tray is then filled by the company’s inspection machine and returned to be palletized.

The Challenges

The system needed to handle two sizes of extremely fragile and expensive product without causing damage. De-traying the products proved the challenge of ensuring the filled tray of vials was pushed onto a nearby conveyor without the unstable products tipping over. To solve this problem, the Simplimatic team ensured the de-traying unit had sides to place the correct pressure on the products to avoid the vials tipping.

Another challenge the team faced were cycle time requirements. The custom systems needed to perform a variety of processes without slowing down the rest of the manufacturing line. To ensure rapid throughput Simplimatic designed and developed custom machinery such as the pick and place machine with vacuum cups to perform a specific task so the robot reach maximum efficiency.

Project Goals

Simplimatic had several goals for the design and assembly of the systems. These systems needed to avoid damaging product, efficiently meet and exceed cycle time requirements, and be a reliable way to automate the time-consuming task of de-traying and palletizing the fragile product.

Simplimatic accomplished these goals and more through expert engineering and planning. To ensure the system maintained peak performance the team programmed the robot with more than 20 different error-recovery scenarios, all custom tailored to the customer’s line and facility needs.