Robotic part localiser brings order to the chaos of mixed-up parts

SICK parts localiser
SICK parts localiser - image supplied by SICK Automation

TESTING and assembly specialist, Kubik Automation, is putting Sick Automation’s PLOC2D robot guidance system to use in its new sCube assembly cell.

Baienfurt, Germany-based Kubic Automation specialises in the development of products and the optimisation of production processes for automation technologies. It develops tailor-made machines for the automotive, electro-mechanics, medical technology, and consumer goods sectors.

With the sCube, several different parts can be handled by a single machine without having to change the entire production process.

According to Sick Automation, anyfeeders are ideal for applications involving different parts where products are changed frequently. They convey and flip small parts without refeeding and without the use of conveyor belts.

An anyfeeder is generally made up of three components which work together: an intelligent vibration unit combined with a magazine which separates small parts and realigns them, a vision system which localises the parts, and a robot which picks up the parts and moves them on.

The work sequence at Kubik Automation involves the interaction of these three components. “The PLOC2D robot guidance system from Sick quickly and reliably detects the position of all parts and transmits position data and orientations to the robot control system. Using this information, the robot is able to pick the correctly aligned parts and feed them to the next process,” Sick said in a statement.

Any parts that are not properly aligned are ignored. Once the properly aligned parts have been removed, the remaining components in the pick zone are mixed up again by a pulsed vertical oscillation from the vibration unit.

“The PLOC2D is a vision system for two-dimensional part localisation. It consists of high-quality image processing hardware and is equipped with an extremely high-performance localisation algorithm for reliable and fast part localisation.”

According to Sick, the PLOC2D boasts short setup times, does not require any programming knowledge and can be put into operation straight away following a simple configuration and parameterisation process via a web browser.

“Thanks to the EasyTeach method, it can also be tailored to different parts and can be integrated into numerous robot brands and PLCs. In essence, the robot guidance system from Sick brings order to the chaos of part localisation.” –