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Fanuc Robotics has revealed that two of its robots are being used in a Green Solutions system that manufactures pallets made from paper pulp.

The manufacturing process is automated from the input stage, where the paper is in a slurry form, right through to the output stage where the finished pallet is ready for use.

Central to the process are two Fanuc Robotics robots, which handle the mould and moulded pallet and also control the system process.

Green Solutions supplies the complete manufacturing system to businesses requiring either one-way or multi-transport pallet use for their product deliveries.

As systems can be supplied anywhere in the world, sourcing a reliable handling solution for the moulding process was important as it forms the core of the process.

Samey, an Icelandic automation business, worked with Green Solutions to design the handling system.

Thorkell Jonsonn, managing director of Samey, said: ’Robots were the most cost-effective solution for the process and provided a highly supportable answer to reliability and ease of production.’ At the beginning of the process, robot one – a Fanuc Robotics M-900iA – dips a mould into the paper slurry.

After a short period of time, the mould, weighing 250kgs at this stage, is removed and a vacuum applied to the top surface of the pallet to remove water.

After the first vacuum operation, the robot rotates the pallet and delivers it to a static vacuum device, which extracts water from the other side of the mould.

The pallet is then transferred to robot two – a Fanuc Robotics M-2000iB – which applies its vacuum gripper to the pallet while robot one ejects it from its gripper.

When robot two signals that it has made a vacuum, robot one departs the transfer area and continues with another dip operation.

Robot two at this point loads the pallet into one of six drying ovens.

The Fanuc Robotics controller manages the sequence for all six ovens, including door operation and heat blow, allowing it to instruct the robot to unload the correct oven and place a finished pallet into an output conveyor.

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.

CNC

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.

Robotics 

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.

Robomachine

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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