One of the most challenging aspects of modern logistics management is the sheer number of different SKUs a DC is expected to handle. Rober were given a challenge with to pick over 200 different footprints of cases of engineering parts from cages to feed a conveyor system.
The gantry robot had no advance knowledge of the format being presented, or the pallet plan. To overcome this, Rober used their RO-Vision camera picture recognition system to guide the robot head and trigger the correct arrangement of vacuum grippers to pick the products.
A further challenge was the use of cages for the incoming products. If a direct lift was used, there was a risk of the box fouling the top of the cage. To over come this, the gantry robot performed side movements to ensure no crash occurred. Such additional movements in all four directions would be much more difficult to achieve on the older axial style robots which are restricted to radial movements.
After that, the weight of the heavy automotive parts was the least of the challenges: as Dr. Hans Gerd Severin , CEO of Rober, said, â€œ our 1000Kg rated robot picks washing machines!