New Universal Robot - Scape Bin-Picker feature: How to enhance material handling efficiency

June 15th, 2022

Universal Robots - Scape Bin-Picker

Enhance material handling efficiency by using a line-feeder cobot

Technological advancements are increasing the capabilities of material handling by using collaborative robots (cobots). Not only are human workers able to work collaboratively side-by-side with cobots, but new technologies also allow material handling cobots to automate the most physically demanding, hazardous, repetitive, and monotonous tasks on a production line. By enhancing the SCAPE Bin-Picker Software with a new feature, we have taken the challenge to increase production efficiencies for UR robots performing material handling at a faster rate with fast average cycle times.

Ensure reliable and fast average cycle times for Universal Robots performing bin-picking of randomly placed parts with guaranteed precision delivery.

To guarantee high precision delivery in every single cycle, SCAPE Bin-Picker Solutions uses a Handling Station after the bin-picking as an intermediate step before delivery. This is the only way to guarantee a high precision grip and thus reliability when picking randomly distributed parts from a bin.

Until now the tradeoff for this reliability is added cycle time for this intermediate step. Today, Scape has launched a solution to eliminating this. A new option “Orientation Control for Line-Feeder robot” makes it possible to use a second robot to perform the precision gripping at the Handling Station and place the part into its destination, for instance, a fixture. This means the bin-picking robot only has the task of bringing the part from the bin to the Handling Station. The result is that the cycle time is almost reduced by a factor of two. This is the only way to guarantee a high precision grip and thus reliability when picking randomly distributed parts from a bin.

For the Universal Robots, we have changed the Graphical User Interface (GUI ) to accommodate this new option. In the GUI the user can easily choose the physical components – a bin, Handling Station,  or both.  If the user chooses a Handling Station only, then it means that the robot works as a Line-Feeder.

Universal Robots - SCAPE Line Feeder

The generated program tree after clicking “Done” is based on the choice of physical components. The only tasks for the user are to teach the “waypoints”. A separate option “Teach Place position” is available for teaching the final position for placing the part. Waypoints are labelled and include comments, so it is easy to understand.

By using a UR Bin-Picker Robot in combination with a UR Line-Feeder Robot the average cycle time from picking the part in the bin to final precision delivery will in most cases be halved. This means that two collaborative and relatively cheap UR Robots  - compared to an industrial robot including fencing – will be able to ensure reliable and fast average cycle times and human workers will be able to work collaboratively side-by-side with cobots at the same time.

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