Wood & Panel

Robots to take center stage in AWFS

 Wednesday, July 17, 2019

AWFS is just the right platform to see how one can automate woodworking tasks in new and surprising ways that will intrigue the industry. Check out Universal Robots (UR) in Booth 7278.

UR pioneered the collaborative robot, that – in contrast to traditional industrial robots – can work right alongside humans with no safety fencing and be easily moved between tasks. It’s the fastest growing segment of industrial automation, forecast to grow ten-fold by 2025. Part of that growth happens in the woodworking industry now increasingly adopting cobots for sanding and polishing tasks that require precision and consistency. Cobots’ versatility means they can sand one day, handle glue dispensing the next – and then be used on the packaging or material handling line right after. At AWFS, Universal Robots will show a material handling demo that details how a UR cobot arm equipped with a vacuum generator easily handles multiple SKUs of wooden pieces. The cobot pioneer will also show the Active Orbital sanding kit that autonomously compensates for tolerances up to 35.5mm

For recent examples of UR cobots in polishing applications, see our case study from Paradigm Electronics, where a UR10 works in tandem with an employee sanding loudspeaker cabinets, polishing Paradigm to a 50% production increase.

UR cobots will also be showcased at Booths 8600 and 8607 by SCM Group, a Universal Robots Certified Systems Integrator. At booth 8600 SCM shows a UR5 with a 7-axes extension in its assembly area, doing glue dispensing in dowel holes of cabinet doors. At booth 8607 a UR10 will sand an MDF Shaker door.

Also be sure to visit ROEQ (Booth 8600), short for “Robotic Equipment”, the Danish company providing accessory solutions for Mobile Industrial Robots (MiR), one of the leading autonomous mobile robots on the market.

At the show, SCM uses a MiR200 with a ROEQ C300 Cart System that holds cabinet nailer parts that are cut on the SCM Flexstore system and then moved by MiR/ROEQ into the 7-axes robot cell where the nailers are fed to an OMAL Drill and Dowel machine. After these operations are completed, MiR/ROEQ moves the nailers into the assembly area for cabinet building. The cart solution ensures that the MiR robot is only stationary for a short amount of time, effectively streamlining the workflow between different divisions of a facility. The mobile robot works safely around people as it automatically scans and avoids obstacles in its route.

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