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Wienerberger UK has engineered an automated system for handling special brick variants in partnership with Fanuc Robotics UK.

The system uses a Fanuc Robotics M710-iC six axes robot to pick up green bricks from an input conveyor and positions them onto a ceramic pallet where they remain until fired.

Bricks are handled separately with a ’suits-all’ vacuum gripper solution, a vision system and bespoke palletising software.

Single or double bricks enter the system on a conveyor and their precise position is identified by a vision system using Fanuc Robotics IR-Vision integrated software.

The M710-iC robot is fitted with a single vacuum gripper that orientates itself to information fed by the vision system and picks up the brick.

The control panel has PC and Human Machine Interfaces (HMI) that allow the shape to be drawn, edited and dimensions to be input.

From this information the software defines where the gripper locates the brick, where to place the brick and how to orientate each layer to complete a 950 x 950 x 1,000mm pallet.

A robot has been used to draw the sander across each layer as it is completed.

The level of sand dispensed is controlled by the speed, height and tilt of the dispenser as the robot passes it over the bricks.

The ceramic pallet is positioned on a rotary table that removes the pallet to an unloading area and positions a new pallet so that uninterrupted production can continue.

FANUC UK provides industrial automation solutions ranging from the supply of CNC controllers, robots, drilling machines, EDM and injection moulding machines through to the complete integration of factory automation systems.

Providing a single customer support portal for its three core businesses, FANUC comprises FA — CNC controllers, motors and drives; robotics — industrial robots and systems; robomachines — EDM, injection moulding and drilling machines.


FANUC’s FA business manufactures CNC controls, drive systems and laser systems. With a 65 per cent market share in the global CNC control sector, FANUC is the market leader. FANUC CNC is the controller of choice for the world’s leading machine tool manufacturers; continuously developing functionality sees FANUC CNC control being used in a wide range of applications — combining powerful control and high precision with unparalleled reliability.

FANUC servo drives and motors are well proven — aimed at the machine builder, they offer the widest range of high-performance compact designs.  The high availability and ease of maintenance together with world-class, energy-efficient designs make them the motors of choice for thousands of OEMs around the world.


FANUC’s robotics business manufactures the widest range of robots in the world for applications from micro-electronics assembly to the forging of precision aerofoils for jet engines — in industries as diverse as pharmaceutical and potato processing — and with maximum payloads from 1kg to 1,350kg. More than 280,000 FANUC robots are operating worldwide, with production currently geared to meet demands of 5,000 per month. FANUC robots are truly ‘out-of-the-box’ automation designed to be totally flexible and, with application-specific options, straightforward to integrate.


FANUC’s robomachine business manufactures Robodrill machining centres, Robocut EDM machines and Roboshot electric injection-moulding machines. Using FANUC components throughout, the robomachine business builds on the advanced technology, reliability, energy efficiency and innovation of its own controllers, drives and motors. With a focus on energy efficiency and high reliability, the robomachine business developed the first all-electric injection-moulding machines — Roboshot — changing the mould shop into a much cleaner and quieter environment.

Customer support

From initial sales contact with FANUC through the life of the product, FANUC provides one single contact point to make sure support is always at hand with up-to-date advice, genuine warranted parts and, whenever possible, obsolescence avoidance solutions that ensure the lifetime delivery of maximum efficiency.

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