Picking and packing of ceramic filters

Special solution for products with high risk of breakage

Iron filtration is standard in foundries: ceramic foam structure filters filter foreign particles from liquid steel and alloys cast at very high temperatures.

Increased concentration and absorption capacity: This high-performance picker solution focuses sensitive ceramic filters and actively avoids breakage!

Task

One of TRAPO AG’s applications involves sorting and packing ceramic filters in cartons. A particular challenge is the enormously high risk of breakage: the ceramic parts must be securely gripped individually and carefully packed. This is a demanding requirement for handling and performance, since the target for picking up the filters is 900 (300 filters per minute and line).

Solution

3 x 3: three picker lines with three pickers each

The ceramic filters are picked safely and carefully on a total of three lines, with three picker cells operating in each line.

While the ceramic filters are being fed in, cameras scan the position and orientation of the filters. Based on this information, pickers suck up the ceramic filters, align them according to the specified packing pattern on a protective nonwoven blank and carefully place them there.

The protective fleece is unwound from a roll as required and cut to size precisely with cutting knives. These blanks are transported pre-timed under the ceramic filter feeder and made ready for the filters to be placed on them.

Once the web is completely loaded with filters, the filled web is stacked. At the same time, the new nonwoven is fed in. The full stacks from all three lines are conveyed out of the picker cells by a traversing carriage.

Safe packaging of ceramic filters: special solution for filling cartons

From the picker cell, the completed stacks are fed to a robot which takes over the carton packaging.

In a first step, a fleece blank is placed on the stack by means of a cutting device. In a second step, the robot positions a cardboard blank on the stack.

In parallel, a carton, previously erected by a carton erector, is fed and placed over the stack by the robot. The stack with the cardboard is then moved to a turning device. There, the carton is turned by 180°. After the turning station, another carton blank is placed on the stack.

A subsequent carton sealer secures the carton. The carton is then still labeled to ensure batch tracking.

Safe palletizing: Industrial robot picks up cartons one by one

The sealed cartons are palletized onto pallets. To do this, the robot sucks up the empty pallet and places it on the conveyor system. A film dispenser positions a stabilizing film on the pallet.

To form layers and stacks, the robot sucks the cartons individually.

The pallet securing required for internal transport is carried out by applying easily removable adhesive to the underside of the carton: for this purpose, the robot passes a glue gun with the carton. The robot then places the carton on the pallet. The finished, stable pallet is labeled and finally conveyed out of the robot cell.

From there, the pallet is removed manually by pallet truck or forklift.

Palletizing is followed by load securing.

Requirements

  • Special solution for filter handling – picking and palletizing
  • Sophisticated solution for careful picking of ceramic filters and loading of cartons
  • Consideration of different filter sizes: 35 x 35mm up to 150 x 300mm
  • Products are deposited in layers on a provided fleece
  • Fleece can be changed without interrupting the line
  • Consideration of different carton weights – up to 18 kg
  • High cycle time of 300 filters/min. per line
  • Insertion of the entire line on a small, available area
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