Robotics and food processing at foodpro 2017

Universal Robots UR3_UR5_UR10_Facing_Left

This year, foodpro’s educational series will include a seminar by Omron Electronics’ Chris Probst entitled “How Technology Has Advanced Mobile Robots and Improved Food Processing”.

Robots are being increasingly used to improve efficiency and productivity in manufacturing processes. While many people are familiar with fixed mounted robots, there have also been significant advances in mobile robot technology recently.

Mobile robots are able to carry loads between locations, and can do so 24/7 without rests or breaks. As the loads they convey can be hazardous, heavy or in hard-to-reach places, it’s highly desirable to automate this common but mundane and sometimes dangerous task.

AGVs (Automated Guided Vehicles) have been the most common mobile robot. They have fixed travel paths set out by tapes or other floor mounted markers. While they work well, AGVs are inherently inflexible due to their fixed, predefined path.

However, Autonomous Intelligent Vehicles (AIVs) are a far more flexible transport system. As their name suggests, AIVs are autonomous and are therefore able to chart routes for themselves. They do his by storing a digital floor map they have previously determined. They do not use fixed sensors or markers along their route.

Chris Probst
Chris Probst, Omron Electronics.

Using a standard wifi connection, monitoring systems can plot locations, and when multiple AIVs are used, a central fleet management system can forward plan routes to ensure loads from various locations are transferred as efficiently as possible.

The environment AIVs work in is often highly dynamic, with temporary obstacles commonplace. AIVs carry localisation sensors to detect these obstacles and are then smart enough to dynamically plan an alternative course for themselves to circumvent obstructions.

Another big advantage is that AIVs are made with human collaboration in mind! Their sensors can detect moving objects, and can even playback voice synthesized messages to alert humans. They are a true “co-bot”.

SEMINAR: How Technology Has Advanced Mobile Robots and Improved Food Processing

SPEAKER: Chris Probst, Omron Electronics

TIME: Tuesday 18 July, 1pm

Robotic products at foodpro 2017

 Scott Automation & Robotics

The Automated Robotic Beef Rib Cutting system is a first of its kind, eliminating all key risks to employee Workplace Health & Safety and is capable of operating at line speeds of 520 sides per hour.

Beef Rib Cutting is the first point at which yield can be lost during the boning process and also poses a large risk of personal injuries or amputations to operators.

The Automated Robotic Beef Rib Cutting system uses a combination 3D scanners, x-ray and colour cameras.  The 3-D scanner is used to scan the carcase and assist in cut placement and transforms the vision processing results for the robot to perform the cut. A colour camera is also used to identify a point of interest on the carcase to help determine the correct cut location. Finally a circular saw is mounted to the end of a robot to enable the cuts to be performed on the carcase

Beef rib cutting is a typical case where current manual tasks can be replicated by an automated system. The major benefits of this automation are increased yield and the positive impact on critical industry OH&S issues.

Universal Robots

Universal Robots’ complete range of collaborative robot arms has revolutionised the market for industrial robots. The robot arms are tools that are collaborative and safe, working alongside human workers.  Universal Robots are lightweight, flexible and user-friendly, allowing fast setup and easy programming to solve new tasks, meeting the short-run production challenges faced by companies adjusting to ever more advanced processing in smaller batch sizes. With an average payback period of 12 months, Universal Robots can help to increase companies’ competitiveness by automating processes and raising productivity. The collaborative robots free employees from tedious and monotonous tasks, allowing effective manpower reallocation to other processes where required.

UR3

Ultra flexible table-top robot

Universal Robots UR3 is an ultra flexible table-top robot that weighs only 11 kg, but has a payload of 3 kg, 360-degree rotation on all wrist joints and infinite rotation on the end joint. It is the most flexible, lightweight, collaborative table-top robot to work side-by-side with employees in the market where size, safety and costs are critical.

UR5

A highly flexible robot arm

A highly flexible robot arm that automates repetitive and dangerous tasks with payloads of up to 5 kg. The UR5 is ideal to optimise low-weight collaborative processes, such as picking, placing and testing. With a working radius of up to 850 mm, the UR5 puts everything within reach.

UR10

A collaborative industrial robot

Universal Robots UR10 is the largest industrial robot arm in the family, designed for bigger tasks where precision and reliability are of paramount importance. With UR10, you can automate processes and tasks that weighs up to 10 kg. With a reach radius of up to 1,300 mm, UR10 is designed to be more effective at tasks across a larger area.