Industrial robotics: new advances for new challenges
After a year of hard work and in adverse conditions resulting from the covid19 pandemic, ULMA has completed the development of a prototype that has great potential and will be the beginning of future developments in the field of industrial robotics.
This development will allow research in the field of control, picking, safety, gripper design and other essential areas for the deployment of automated picking solutions. This fully functional prototype will allow the generation and testing of different types of multi-reference mosaics through the use of grippers with different characteristics, and the guidance or assistance of artificial vision systems that will allow the picking cell to be totally autonomous.
With the emergence of the Industry 4.0 concept, the distribution sector is immersed in a process of industrial automation motivated by the need to improve costs in order to gain in competitiveness and productivity. Following this growing demand, ULMA has advanced in new concepts of logistics solutions to automate order preparation processes.
The conceptualisation of the new palletising robot, called U-PAL, is a clear example of ULMA's commitment to R&D, designed to offer an innovative picking solution that eliminates the strict sequencing of products from the main equation. This new solution goes beyond an innovative solution from the scientific-technological perspective, maintaining coexistence and interrelationship between the different elements and agents that form it: conveyors, self-guided vehicles, robots, stacker cranes, etc. Furthermore, the development of the new palletising robot allows the implementation of the inspection system by artificial vision and the mosaic calculation algorithm without being based on a strict sequence.
The main objective of the U-Pal project is the design and development of a new automatic multi-reference picking system aimed at the medium market segment. It is based on a new design of the supply algorithms of the item input buffers and eliminates the need for the previous unitary picking stages for the items to be palletised used in current systems.
U-Pal offers a differential added value in comparison with other existing multi-reference picking systems, significantly reducing both the cost and the space required for its implementation.
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