Pick, Glue and Place in One Motion

DN Staff

October 26, 2010

3 Min Read
Pick, Glue and Place in One Motion

Anew robotic module that leverages the speed and precision of Delta robottechnology is focused on picking, gluing and placing glued parts on a second movingobject. An immediate target application is in the baby and medical wipeindustries where a polybag of wipes uses a plastic lid on the top of the bag. Whenthe lid is removed, there is a tear away die cut where the baby wipes aredispensed. Manufacturers are moving away from plastic tubs because of materialcosts, so it's a rapidly growing market opportunity.

"The Delta robot integrates with anupstream flow wrapper which packages the wet wipes," say Mike Seager, picking and packingsegment manager for QComp Technologies. "The bag of wipes enters therobotic cell on a conveyor, and a separate lid conveyor delivers the plasticlids into the cell. Using machine vision, the system tracks both the bag andthe lid, and the robot is commanded to pick up the lid. The robot passes itover a Nordson glue head. A bead of glue is applied around the entire peripheryof the lid, and the lid is then precisely placed on the bag."

System movements are all continuous motion,and provide an ability to pick, glue and place products at speeds up to 75parts per minute. Since the flow wrappers are capable of basically twice thatspeed with a single machine, a second robot can be applied to double up therates of the gluing operation.

Robotics integrator QComp Technologies hasannounced a partnership with Hayssen Sandiacre to offer the robotic Pick &Glue technology and the companies will demonstrate the new method at PackExpo 2010in Chicago.

Speed is a key advantage of the new system,along with the ability to apply the bead of glue to a flat surface on a moving,mating part. Seager says that if a customer screen prints a bead of glue on thebottom of a lid, the glued part still needs to somehow be applied to the bag. Thenew system provides both speed and the ability to place the lid on a movingpart at plus/minus 3 mm, which requires tight operating tolerances at thosespeeds.

"The robot is able to handle the coordinatedmotion, plus both the bags and lids can be skewed at a slight angle," saysSeager. "The vision system will recognize those angles, and still pick andplace to the tight tolerances. If the product is not collated correctly orpresented at slightly different angles, the system easily compensates forvariations."

Combining the speed and flexibility of theDelta Robot with the integrated vision system, users can program a profile forthe part and adjust the tuning to achieve quick changeover for multiple parts.Other potential application areas for the system, in addition to the baby andmedical wipes, is direct mail applications such as gluing a magnet on apostcard or gluing samples of chocolate onto a mailer.

Sign up for the Design News Daily newsletter.

You May Also Like