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  #1  
Old 10-16-2008
Sean Browning Sean Browning is offline
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Default Robot places onto tray as it moves on conveyor

I am hoping there might be someone who has come across a similar situation. I need to place items into a tray as it moves along a conveyor using a flexpicker robot.

Here is a quick description of the system:

1. A cutter slices product into ~50 pieces wide.
2. Bad product (~3%) automatically drops off the conveyor.
3. Rows of product are placed into trays with ~50 slots across.
4. A conveyor holds product in reserve to fill empty spaces left by rejects.
5. Two flexpicker* robots pick from the reserve products to fill empty spaces.
6. Reserve product is picked in batches of 7 and placed as open spaces pass.
7. The sink will record the number of empty slots that are not filled by the flexpickers.

My initial idea for the model is to use gantry cranes to approximate the flexpickers, but I am not certain how to fill gaps on a moving conveyors and 60 conveyors wide is probably difficult.

I had an idea that an object similar to a pallet would work, then one conveyor could carry trays. The model would begin with trays that randomly have product missing from slots according to the 4% variable. The flexpickers (gantry cranes) would place product onto the trays after picking up seven at a time. After each seven the robot would return to the conveyor where reserve product is staged.

I am not certain what the best approach here is. Is it possible to place objects on a moving pallet like the video below where objects are placed in trays? If not, what might be a good approach?

The mechanical engineer is considering Flexsim as an alternative to 3d Studio Max, but I am very interested in using Flexsim for this application. The 3d Studio solution would just use one hardly random value for wastage and not consider that some chunks of time will have a much higher percentage, like 10% or more. Flexsim would allow us to investigate what happens with greater variability in quality and what the effect of 3 or 4 flexpickers might be. 3d Studio is just a pretty picture.

I am eager to build this model, but I don't know where to start. Any help with this tricky part (placing on a moving pallet) would be greatly appreciated.

Best regards,
Sean

* The following are examples of flexpicker type robots:

Picking and placing on outfeed conveyor:


Picking and placing into trays:
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Old 10-17-2008
Sean Browning Sean Browning is offline
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Default

I am making progress putting together a task sequence to move items onto and off of a pallet as it is travelling on the conveyor, but I am wondering if there is a Flexpicker object?
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Old 10-17-2008
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Anthony Johnson Anthony Johnson is offline
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Default Cookie Packer Model

This is an old model that used to be included as one of the demo models in version 3. I've done a quick update on it to version 4. There are still a few issues with the update, but I think you get the idea. As far as I know no one has made a flexpicker object. This model just uses a crane that's been shrunk down.
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Old 10-17-2008
Neil Brandon Neil Brandon is offline
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Default Too many variables. Save your skin and generalize.

There's a ton of variables when it comes to flexpicker cycle time.

What's the tool weight? There's a large difference between the speed of a .5kg tool and a 3kg tool. Especially if rotation is involved.

Are you using a photoeye or vacuum switch to detect missed picks? If so, expect a performance hit.

2 flexpickers means a pickmaster system. You can play load balancing games with pickmaster, but depending on your layout/rapid programming it will be difficult to approximate the benefit.

I would use Combiner objects with your own 3d model to approximate the line, then come back later and do the kinematics once you know how many pickers you need.

Neil
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