Mechatronic Sets The Tone For Market Leading Photocopier Company
The Client’s Challenge
Mechatronic was approached by a market leading supplier of business printers and photocopiers to design and build a new machine to fill, cap and assemble a wide range of toner bottles.
The Client’s Specific Needs
The customer needed an automatic process line that was reliable and operator friendly. The line needed to handle various colours plus numerous variants of cap design. Due to product launch schedules the design, manufacture, integration and installation project was just 20 weeks from concept to delivery.
The Mechatronic Solution
Mechatronic’s design engineers specified a variety of handling methods including robots, a pallet system and a range of bespoke devices.
The new 7-step process:
- Empty bottles are loaded into a buffer stock.
- After checking for orientation, bottles are automatically picked, rotated and loaded to a walking beam.
- They progress to a two stage filler, which is monitored by high precision load cells.
- Following correct weight confirmation, bottles are collected by a 6-axis Fanuc robot, which serves two identical filling lines, and are then placed onto a RFID fully traceable Weiss pallet system.
- Bottles are then transported to a pick-and-place station where internal devices fed from various automatic feeding devices are fitted to the inside of the bottle.
- Caps are managed on an automated duplex tray loading system devised by Mechatronic. Robotically they are removed and offered to an Omron camera to identify the correct cap and fitted, followed by a torque test to check free running of the device whilst verifying good cap fit.
- The packing station ensures that the correct box is supplied for each variant and a label is produced in conjunction with the RFID pallet tracking software which maintains the integrity of the product.
The combination of three 6-axis Fanuc robots, RFID tracking and robust automation ensures that the process can accommodate any variability of the filling processes and has eliminated previously operator-dependant tasks.
The project was delivered on budget within the 20-week schedule. It can process a part at half the previous cycle time. The equipment’s robust design and construction ensures reliability and early customer feedback indicates ease of access for maintenance and loading. Mechatronic’s design solution is also flexible to cater for an evolving product in a competitive market via simple adaptation to changing components.
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