One of the most repetitive, monotonous and dangerous jobs for humans is handling materials throughout the factory. Here is where we turn to automation, the solution to this need.
Robots are currently the ideal tool for moving any object in any direction, as many times as necessary. Automated technology has become increasingly essential in material handling. But what justifies the use of robotic automation in material handling?
What justifies this investment are the numerous advantages it offers in terms of productivity. Considering the payload and range that, on some occasions, is surpassed by speed and repeatability.
Of course, it is also justified by compliance with OSHA standards (Occupational Safety and Health Administration), in other words: standards for keeping employees safe.
For example, when there is a large volume of inventory, you need continuous production that efficiently increases performance. In addition to taking in to account the fact that the space available for the installation of the system is extremely important.
It is also useful when it comes to fulfilling orders that generate a high volume of processes, achieving increased customer satisfaction by providing high quality products.
By analyzing the line’s specific products, you can identify solutions that adapt to their characteristics and handling requirements, reducing material losses and obtaining an advantage over competitors.
A factory that handles materials in the storage area requires a high level of safety, here robots create a better environment for workers and protect employees against possible claims.
As the last justification, automated systems for the material handling application reduce costs and improve efficiency.
Here are some of the robots that can be used to execute material handling processes in a production line:
The FANUC M-6, M-16, M-10 y M-20 series and the LR Mate 200iC, which are suitable due to their high performance and precision.
The KUKA models are ideal for material handling, the most popular is the KR 6-2 due to its repeatability and economical space-saving design.
ABB has a wide range of robots for the material handling application that vary according to their grip strength and the type of material they’ll handle, but the ABB IRB 360 FlexPicker model stands out due to its delta-like design that offers speed and precision for handling small parts.
Motoman Yaskawa is a manufacturer that offers us the HP350 model, which is efficient, affordable and obtains excellent results in the material handling application.
The advanced improvements in material handling processes have escalated to a high level of efficiency, however, there are still factors that should be considered when integrating an automated system, such as the type of material to be handled, the productive environment where it will operate, end-of-arm tools, energy sources, software compatibility, and the integrator, among others.