Automated picking of boards and placing them into cardboard boxes

March 16, 2020


A furniture making company



The customer needed an automated solution for moving boards and placing them into packing paper – a task that was performed manually before. The boards weighed up to 22 kg and the required cycle time was 6 seconds – this was enormously challenging for employees working eight-hour shifts. The customer therefore decided to automate the line whereby the final solution needed to master several challenges. These included the already mentioned 6 seconds cycle time, precision of ± 2 mm, light conditions of up to 5000 lux and various colors, dimensions and materials of the boards, as well as varying stacking patterns.



2x PhoXi 3D Scanner XL, 1x PhoXi 3D Scanner S, 1x Vision Controller

The implemented solution resided in automation of the existing packaging line – a so-called brownfield project. The robotic cell consists of an ABB robot with a 7th axis mounted upside down. The robot picks boards from 2 stacks with a vacuum gripper. Using a PhoXi 3D Scanner, the Photoneo board localization solution reports to the robot the position of the top board in each stack. In order to achieve the desired precision of ± 2 mm, Photoneo added one extra PhoXi 3D Scanner S onto the vacuum gripper to make a scan between picking a board from the stack and placing it into a cardboard box moving on a conveyor.



The solution is based on a custom localization of boards in a point cloud, using PhoXi 3D Scanners. The stack deviation is ± 150 mm.

The implementation of this solution led to the reduction of costs, increased productivity and also increased safety as the employees do not need to handle the heavy boards manually any more.

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