Three techniques for lowering the cost of robot introduction
Linak is one of the Danish companies, which together with Pehama, Danfoss and Kamstrup have been selected to participate in a pilot project awarded by the European robot network ROBOTT-NET.
With the assistance of the Danish Technological Institute (DTI) and the Spanish RTO Tecnalia, the companies will develop a robot system which is cheaper because it is easy and quick to adapt the robot to assemble different products. The concept will be demonstrated through several cases.
- In this specific case, we develop a demonstration cell that will assemble a kit that is part of a Linak actuator consisting of a spindle, a bearing, some washers and a gear wheel, says Søren Peter Johansen, who is Technology Manager at DTI.
He points out three techniques which are used to feed and separate items efficiently in a cheap way.
- We typically use a camera to see how items are arranged in a container, but in this case we use a touch sensor which measures force to feel where the items are located. The same touch sensor is used to feel how many bearings are on the spindle, so we can grasp one bearing at a time, says Søren Peter Johansen.
- Another cheap technique is to use a simple conveyor solution to separate the gears so that the robot can grasp them more easily. In this way, we demonstrate an alternative to vibration feeders, which are relatively expensive, he adds.
- Another way to feed items more cheaply is to use a standard screw dispenser, which can easily be adapted to separate washers, Søren Peter Johansen concludes.