The best first step in starting a new automation project is to contact an experienced system integrator to stop by your facility for a automation evaluation walkthrough. Being Certified FANUC System Integrators, we have the experience of walking through thousands of facilities and seeing almost every manufacturing process out there. From these many evaluations, we have custom designed, built, and integrated systems that are tailored to the needs of the process. Some companies many not feel they should contact an integrator until they have decided for sure what they need to have done. This can be a mistake. There is no obligation or expectation for a request for quote from a walkthrough. As an example, on one walkthrough we solved a company’s problem upstream and saved them from having to install an expensive robotic vision system.
I spoke with one of our sales managers, Roger Sorg, who has participated in multiple automation evaluations. You can watch our interview to learn more about the process or read below for more information.
Why should a company start with an Automation Evaluation from an experienced Integrator?
The number one thing, especially in today’s environment, is evaluating opportunities in person is always the best. It allows us to share our experience over the years and share information about things we have already done with new customers.
You are also looking for somebody with experience because you are using that experience to find your quick wins for successful applications in your facility. From my experience, a lot of times, companies want to do the most complicated project first. I can tell you that if you are looking for a quick win the simplest process, which would also be a savings or upgrade, is usually the better win overall. Getting an easy-to-understand robot system installed gives confidence to the operators and managers and supplies a base to go forward with additional automation.
Where is usually the best place to start adding robotics?
Probably one of the best places to start is at the end of the line. We have several end of line solutions that have been proven successful over the years.
End of Line Solutions include:
- Case erecting
- Picking and placing products (case packing)
- Case sealing
- Tape inspection
- Single line palletizing (1-4 stations)
- Inline labeling
- Product sorting with SCARA robots
- Single row palletizing
- Layer building
- Full layer palletizing (numerous stations)
- Pallet Dispensing
- Stretch Wrapping
- AGVs, AGCs, AMRs
This is usually a place where companies can find labor and space savings. For example, palletizing tall stacks for employees is a safety and ergonomic issue. Palletizing projects are straightforward and easy for integrators with experience. Some integrators do not focus on the custom palletizing side, but that is where we really excel. We have a variety of systems and examples that we can show.
The video shows 3 types of palletizing systems:
- Adding one/two case at a time to a stack
- 2 lines with 2 robots palletizing full rows of cases
- Layer building using small sorting robots and then full layer palletizing