Recently we completed an interesting project that began as a standard palletizing robot project but ended up as something much more complex, with much more value-added and much more interesting from an engineering point of view.
The customer has state-of-the-art manufacturing installation for high-quality thermoplastic road marking paint. It is a powder substance that is packaged in 20 kg plastic bags. The packaging and the palletizing of the bags were becoming a serious bottleneck in the manufacturing process. The reason was that it was all done manually.
An employee had to take an empty bag and hold it under the transport screw through which the powder was pouring. He had to hold the bag straight while it was being filled. Furthermore, he also had to lean forward as the bagging hopper is positioned relatively low from the factory floor. In terms of ergonomics, this is a very bad position. When the bag was full, the operator had to lift the bag and seal it with a heat-sealing machine. Finally, he was ready to manually palletize the bag. This process was being repeated several hundred more times per day.
The job was physically very demanding. Not surprisingly, the factory had difficulties in finding and retaining employees for this job position. Therefore, our customer was looking for a solution with an industrial robot.