• Construction employees at de Man

Quality guaranteed

The de Man palletizing robot at Frisia uses its vacuum suction gripper to transport the plates as an entire layer

de Man develops palletizing systems for plates: All good things come in threes - de Man Automation + Service GmbH & Co. KG has already put the third palletizing system into operation at Frisia Möbelteile GmbH from Leer. 22 plate types should be checked and palletized, which differ in dimensions, formation and number per pallet.

FRISIA Möbelteile GmbH from Leer, East Frisia, has been supplying furniture components to German and European manufacturers of kitchen, bathroom and office furniture for over 30 years. The family-owned company with around 190 employees produces over 90,000 parts a day in countless variations and decors from melamine-resin-coated chipboards or MDF. A new automatic system was to replace the quality control and palletizing previously carried out manually on this production line. The company hoped that this would make work easier for the employees, save costs and improve quality, since the plates will be automatically checked for errors by both sides in the future using a second camera system. The palletizing system supplied by de Man (main dimensions approx. 12480 mm x approx. 5025 mm x approx. 2200 mm) now takes over the plates from the on-site feed conveyor technology and stacks them on Euro pallets. The cycle rate is up to 22 pieces per minute. Faulty plates are recognized by the camera evaluation and removed via the on-site NiO tape.

Please turn
The plates are conveyed to the system via the feed conveyor technology provided by the customer. They go through a turning star that rotates the plates by 180 degrees. In this way, they can be controlled from both sides by the two cameras placed in front of and behind the turning star. Now a vertical converter takes over the plates and transfers the error-free ones to the table. If a faulty part runs onto the converter, it tilts upwards and directs it to the NiO strip above, where it is first clocked. If the belt is completely filled with ejected plates, the operator is notified who requests the parts at the end of the belt for manual removal using a button. The layer table on which the fault-free parts are conveyed essentially consists of two brush belts with end stops, which stop at right angles to one another and prevent the plates from moving out over the brush belt and form the boundary for one layer. Up to seven layers are assembled from the flawless plates per minute and then transported to the layer removal station, where they are ready to be picked up by the robot. The palletizing robot now uses its vacuum suction gripper to transport the plates as an entire layer from the layer pick-up station to the palletising station and stack them on Euro pallets. Some of the products protrude in width and length, with the protrusion being the same on all sides. A robot from Kawasaki (CPL180L) with a payload of 180 kilograms and 4 axes is used in the system. Area grabs from Schmalz were used as gripping elements.

Cleverly aligned
The empty pallets are placed manually on the pallet conveyor system. The operator places a chipboard on each pallet as a protective plate, which can protrude on all four sides. The pallet conveyor technology consists of roller conveyor sections driven in segments and conveys the empty pallets including the protective plate from the loading area to the buffer area and then to the palletizing area. In the palletizing position, the pallet is stopped by a stopper. This can stop and align the pallet at two different heights, so that either the pallet is only stopped (if the protective plate protrudes at the front) or the protective plate is also aligned on the pallet (if it is to lie flush and the worker has placed it slightly protruding). The respective position of the stopper is stored in the layer picture. The side pallet aligners are so low that they only hit the pallet but not the bottom layer. The full pallets are finally conveyed out of the cell, made available in a buffer space and removed with a forklift or hand pallet truck.

Clear visualization
The entire facility is surrounded by a protective fence. Access to the system parts is via protective doors, which must be requested. The safety interlock with guard locking only allows the protective doors to be opened when the dangerous movements are safely stopped. The emergency release enables trapped people to leave the cell. There are emergency stop buttons on the system on the protective doors, on the control panel, in the area of ​​the pallet roller conveyor and on the robot programming device, which place the system in a secure stop. The same happens when the multiple light beam safety device is triggered in the outlet area of ​​the pallet roller conveyor. This light barrier is equipped with muting sensors, which allows a temporary interruption when the pallet with the plates enters and leaves. The proven and clear deMan visualization is used as the user interface. It includes the clear representation of the plant layout on a touch screen. The operator receives a quick overview of the status of all system parts and current messages, can view complex components in more detail and operate the system intuitively.

Well packed