In all warehouse processes demanding continuous high performance and quality for long periods of time, people reach their performance limits. One approach to solve this issue is to use indus-trial robots. Reliable "bin picking", however, has long been considered an almost insurmountable task in intralogistics. The Pick-it-Easy Robot developed by KNAPP is a fresh, new solution for processing orders using industrial robots and it was named BEST PRODUCT at the LogiMAT 2017 trade fair.
The Pick-it-Easy Robot is a goods-to person picking system that is ideal for use in various sectors, business models, business lines and sales channels. Robots and manual work sta-tions can be easily combined to make best possible use of their individual assets. The robot cell is designed to handle a wide range of articles in various work areas where consistently high throughput is required. Furthermore, the robot cell offers advantages to companies with shift operation who are striving to reduce errors and error costs.
The image recognition and processing software detects the target article in the source container and calculates the grip point on the article’s surface. The software strategically selects the ideal grip point. The six-axis articulated arm robot positions the gripper precisely over the grip point. The trim, flexible gripper can pick articles lying in any position in the source container. Con-stantly monitored by sensors, the system picks up the article and transfers it safely into the target container. The Pick-it-Easy Robot complies with all standards and guidelines, is equipped with the proper safety devices and has a safety concept.
In continuous use, the Pick-it-Easy Robot attains a significant increase in productivity, while maintaining the same high quality in comparison to manual picking. An ideally designed goods-to-person work station can process 1000 lines per hour – over a longer period, however, such performance is not possible for the human workforce. The Pick-it-Easy Robot is a sensible alternative to the human workforce in warehouse areas that demand continuous high through-put; depending on order structure, article range and capacity peaks, a robot cell can replace one or more manual work stations. If, for example, a manual work station with two-shift opera-tion is replaced, the Pick-it-Easy Robot is amortized within a very short space of time.
KNAPP’s zero defect philosophy, which is based on modern image processing and recognition technologies, has also been incorporated in the development of the Pick-it-Easy Robot. The work process is monitored by several sensor systems – any errors are detected and corrected automatically, or if necessary, forwarded to a manual work station. The cost of errors is con-siderably reduced and the delivery quality is improved. The safety devices, safety and sensor systems guarantee the safety of personnel and prevent material damage.
The Pick-it-Easy Robot is distinguished by the highest flexibility and simple integration into existing systems. Various types of containers can be processed. The arrangement of the arti-cles in the container is flexible – both chaotic and stacked articles can be handled smoothly – the Pick-it-Easy Robot always finds the ideal gripping point for each article.
An important step into the Industry 4.0 era is being taken with the Pick-it-Easy Robot. The robot has become the co-worker of the person; better distribution of the workload and up to a four-fold increase in productivity are now possible thanks to the Pick-it-Easy Robot. Retroactive integration of the robot into existing intralogistics systems is also possible. KNAPP has not only hit an important milestone in intralogistics with the development of the Pick-it-Easy Robot, but has also added a valuable solution component for the zero defect warehouse – KNAPP’s interpretation of an intelligent and networked factory.