Automated bin picking of parts

June 9, 2022

Partner:

KUKA

 

Challenge:

The customer Favi – a manufacturer and supplier of technical parts for various industries – decided to automate a manufacturing process that involves the picking of parts from containers.

The parts manufactured in FAVI’s foundry arrive in bins. These parts must be picked and then placed into a machining center. FAVI needed to develop an application to automate this process. For this, the company has chosen KUKA based on their trusting 15-year-long relationship.

 

Solution:

Bin Picking Studio + PhoXi 3D Scanner

The installed automation system consists of two KUKA KR IONTEC robots, each equipped with a 3D scanner for precise navigation in 3D space. 

The PhoXi 3D Scanner scans the bin and the Bin Picking Studio detection software determines the position and orientation of the parts inside, calculating the appropriate trajectories for the robot.

KUKA has been actively working on simplifying the communication between the 3D scanner and the robot so that the transmission of information is as fluid as possible. This means that the robot can pick up the parts one by one without colliding with one another and take them to the processing machine. A true camera-robot collaboration!

 

Discussion:

The major factors that played a role for FAVI in deciding on a solution from Photoneo were the attractive price and easy use of Bin Picking Studio.

By automating the task of picking parts from a bin, FAVI managed to remove the physically challenging aspect of the work. Productivity has increased as the factory is running in 2 shifts – now, for the 3rd shift, employees can leave the cell in an autonomous mode, earning some hours of automatic production during the night.

The automation solution allows FAVI to optimize its production thanks to the innovative technologies comprising Photoneo’s 3D vision systems and KUKA robots. 

The two bin picking cells work together and allow FAVI to achieve yield rates of 85%. KUKA provides expertise and support for this bin picking process. The system enabled the strengthening of labor capital since it encourages an increase in the skills of operators, who are now line managers. In addition, automation of the process helps eliminate MSDs (Musculoskeletal Disorders). 

In 2022, FAVI focuses on a future project with KUKA in order to host a new high-speed uncoiling cell in their warehouses. Xavier Dubreuil, Production Manager at FAVI, says: “The solution is very satisfactory for us, and very well adapted to the types of products we manufacture. The process is linear, reliable, and increases our yield rates.”

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Automated bin picking of parts

09.06.2022, CASE STUDY