Dale Automation can provide a number of pan and lid storage solutions for customers. Overhead robotic gantry pick and place pan stacking is one example and robotic pick and place, pan stacking travelling conveyor systems is another solution.
Dale Automation now have numerous successful installations of robot controlled, gantry style pan stacking units. These storage cells are capable of holding up to three different pan types used for loading and offloading rows of pans from the system. Pans enter and leave the storage cell on a conveyor where the gantry, basically an overhead crane type arrangement will either remove the pans from the conveyor and stack them on the floor, or will collect tins from the floor and place them on the conveyor. The number of tins in each row depends on the size of the strap as well as the throughput of the plant, but in most cases are either 8 or 10. For installations where more than one pan set is to be stored, two conveyors run through the store. One conveyor is dedicated to taking pans into the storage cell, whilst the other diverts pans from the cell to the pan conveyor system. On these systems, a pneumatically operated lift and lower device with side activated storage shelve is fitted. In all cases, the gantry head is fitted either with pneumatically operated grippers or electro magnets.
The Travelling conveyor pan store holds stacks of pans 10 to 12 high and one or two robots linked together are fitted with a beam holding magnets which lift 8 to 10 pans at a time and place's then down onto a heavy duty slat conveyor. When the stack height is made 10 to 12 pans high, the conveyor indexes back a pan length and the operation repeats itself until all the pan are off the system and neatly stacked. When production starts up the system simply reverses its operation until a sufficient number of pans are in the system loop. Both systems provide gentle handling of pans and take away operator fatigue maximising pan life, which reduces cost. The system will automatically remove pans or feed them back into the conveyor system should production faults occur keeping the pan loop operational at all times.
Lid storage can be either be on the floor “which as to be level +/- 2mm” or on to steel frames or directly stacked onto specially made lid storage conveyors that hold up to 8 to 10 lids high, The robot is placed at one end of a lid line and takes lids off pans after the baking process, these lids are either stacked 8 to 10 high onto a lid indexing conveyor which travels them to the re-lidding robot or takes them off the conveyor and build a stack up each side of the robot on the floor or in steel frames. The robot and conveying system will automatically control lid movement or stacking.
The pan and lid systems comprise of the following equipment:
- Single X-Axis (long travel). Length dependant on plant rate.
- Double Z-Axis (vertical travel). Height dependant on plant rate.
- Automatic slide and rack and pinion lubricators.
- Individual grippers for each pan either mechanical or magnetic.
- Over travel safety limit switches.
- One or two storage cell conveyors with pneumatic lift and lower device and side activated storage shelves.
- Each conveyor section with inverter controlled, shaft mounted motor/gearbox combination with locally mounted motor isolator.
- Safety cell fencing with interlocked access gates.
- Robot controller with touch screen pendant station.
Benefits of Automatic Tin and lid Storage Systems.
- High accuracy 0.02mm repeatability.
- Eliminates the dangers associated with dropping heavy pans or lids.
- Pan and lid life is increase due to no man handling. In many cases, more than doubled.
- Smoother and quieter than manual stacking
- Fully automated pan or lid type change overs.
- Reduced labour costs.