Siscodata, specialized in the realization of robotic systems in different industrial sectors, has recently developed for the Daverio (Varese) headquarters of its customer Goglio S.p.A. a robotic system to automate the production, folding and manual insertion of bags made of metallized film and equipped with a filler neck. This plant aims to solve the process problems as the folding machines in use could no longer be used due to the material in which the bags are made (which makes them extremely slippery) and the size (increased over time and not more manageable by the folding machines used up to now).
The automation of this production phase has brought improvements in the production system, a costs reduction and the operators can carry out value added activities, such as quality check. Furthermore, Goglio has at its disposal only one system to use and can pass quickly from the processing of 220-liter double-channel bags (1 x 1.8 meters in size) to 1 - 1.5-ton bags (2.2 x 2, 6 meters in size) to which two different types of filler necks (1" or 2" respectively) are applied.
The robotized area consists of 6 Comau anthropomorphic robots:
the 4 NS16 robots are dedicated to the bags folding and are equipped with a special carbon fiber gripper that allows them to pick up the incoming bags in pairs or single (if large) lying down on a input conveyor belt (the latter equipped with a stacker and an aligner of the filler necks inserted before the fold). The robots work in pairs, one on each side, rolling and folding the bags and depositing them in a storage station; the 2 pairs of robots work alternately to ensure high speed.
the 2 NJ40 robots take the single bag placed in the accumulation point and deposit it (in a staggered and alternate way, above/below and right/left, to compensate the plastic filler necks and to optimize the volume of the box) folding it transversely into the already formed box equipped with protective film. All robots have a steel basement and are connected to an automatic box former for carton box equipped with an internal hygienic film bag (that makes it similar to Bag In Box - BIB) and to a taping machine that closes the box with adhesive tape once the filling is completed.
The following results has been achieved:
the number of bags in a box has increased from 36 to 42/44 pieces, with a significant saving in shipping costs;
the 6 robots work in extremely small spaces and with stressful rhythms;
the 2 pairs of NS16 robots that work cooperatively are equipped with only 2 electrical cabinets (1 per pair) with consequent saving of space and costs in terms of hardware;
the plant works with very low cycle times: one bag is managed every 6 seconds and this high speed has required the use of low-payload robots;
the special robot gripper (for picking, rolling up and folding) combines sticks longer than one meter, stiffness and lightness thanks to the use of innovative technical materials (steel was abandoned for aluminum and then aluminum was abandoned in favor of carbon fiber);
a brushless motor has been added to introduce the 7th axis of rotation (each robot, as standard, has 6 rotation axes) and this has allowed the high speed bags rolling;
a small number of operators is used and the workload on the remaining operators has decreased.
This plant has allowed the return to a continuous production although it is not used at full capacity.
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