The rapid developments in robotics and automated handling systems and the desire to apply the benefits of this increasingly sophisticated technology to the widest range of manufacturing applications also requires new types of software to ensure optimum control. A good example of this is PalletSolver robotics palletising software suite introduced by YASKAWA for its MOTOMAN robots.
PalletSolver is a feature-rich software designed for homogeneous palletising applications and developed with two primary objectives: to enable faster development and integration of a robotic palletising system through user-friendly configuration, set-up and customisationm, and to facilitate maximum system uptime without compromising production schedules.
The software incorporates two main components: PalletSolver-PC, an offline pattern-generation tool that operates on a Windows-powered PC; and PalletSolver-Engine, which includes robot control programs, motion planning and I/O maps that reside on the robot controller DX200.
Key benefits include an intuitive user-interface with a guided pattern file for the generation of steps; it supports virtually unlimited products as confirmed by its ability to operate with all common gripper types, for example, vacuum, clamp, fork or bag. Furthermore, a dynamic gripper zone configuration enables change to be implemented for each cycle. The software also supports multiple cells and it incorporates interference constraints per station to ensure quick changeover without interfering with production.
Other features include import pallet patterns generated by TOPS or CAPE software, an export / import cell and gripper database that can be shared between projects and the facility to produce 2D layer and 3D build pictures generated to help with drop box recovery.
The software also includes useful pattern-generation tools such as label positioning, snap, placement spread, auto gaps, pallet overhang / underhang, centring, calculated weight and height of build.
PalletSolver PC enables build pattern recipes to be generated offline and then stored in a network storage that is accessible by the robot controller, or stored locally on a PC hosting the software. Pattern files can be downloaded via Ethernet using a parser which will also populate controller variables and they can also be copied to a Compact Flash card or USB storage media and be loaded with the robot teach pendant. When it’s time to change the pattern file for a particular line during production, the operator simply selects the file identified by the product ID and pattern ID and downloads it to the robot controller. While the cell is executing, status is provided for all build stations and any errors reported to the programming pendant, or made available to the customised operator interface provided with the turnkey system.
The PalletSolver PC screen enables quick changeovers without the need to halt production for validating pattern files. This is achieved by incorporating physical constraints to the work cell, such as distance between pallets, infeed stations, and interferences with neighbouring objects or other build stations. This means that the sequence for each pattern file is optimised based on the constraints associated with each particular station, resulting in a maximum production rate for each work cell.
Go to www.yaskawa.eu.com to find out more about the PalletSolver robotics palletising software suite.