High-speed handling of interior paint drums

Using Kenos® KVG120 grippers by PiabDromont Group has designed and implemented a pick and place system, installed in an automated dosing and filling line by a leader English chemical company.

The production line is subdivided into different stages. At the beginning, they execute the integrity control of containers to ascertain there are no leaks. Afterwards, this is followed by the dosage with 18 liquid bases, which differ one another in density and viscosity, the tintometer for the colouring with water-based pigments and a further dosage of white. Successively, drums are closed with lids. The last phase, before palletizing, consists in the paint mixing process that is performed with 8 gyroscopic mixers. Kenos® KVG120 grippers by Piab are precisely used in this stage. They lift the containers off the conveyor belt and they place them inside the gyroscopic mixer. Once accomplished the mixing, Kenos® KVG120 grippers take the drums from the gyroscopic mixer and they lay them down again on the belt that transports them to the final stage. Each gyroscopic mixer corresponds to a pick and place system consisting of two Kenos® KVG120 grippers. Containers from 2.5 lt to 10 lt are handled, with different diameters, heights and weights, without changing tool. Each gripper can pick three 3 2.5 lt drums simultaneously, in a cycle time of 6 drums per minute. The grip of large 10 lt containers is instead carried out by both grippers, for a cycle time of 2 containers per minute.

Following comprehensive discussions to understand the customer’s requirements, Danfoss provided the integration of its XL104 controller, DM1200 display, rotary sensors, JS1-H joystick, H1P pumps, H1B motors, 90M motors, and PLUS+1® GUIDE software

«We have chosen Kenos® KVG grippers by Piab for their flexibility and reliability. Not only they allow handling multi-size drums, but they can also handle containers of different materials, with plastic or metal covers, always assuring a steady, stable and safe grip. Before choosing Piab, we used a self-centring mechanical gripper that did not provide a reliable grip. We have also tried a system with stiff suction cups, but the latter did not permit to use a single tool, with consequent necessary idle times for the handling of the various formats. The competence of Piab technicians and of Mr Davide Revello from TMA company, authorized Piab distributor, have guided us at best in the choice of the correct technology», says Andrea Messa, Mechanical Engineer of DromontGroup and project manager.

«Due to Piab solutions, we have succeeded in implementing an extremely innovative high-speed line. The drum handling speed has been increased by over 50%», adds Martina Zecchetti, Business Development of DromontGroup.

«We also turned to Piab for the drum closure. The plants that put lids on, in fact, pick them from vertical stacks with the Swedish Company’s DURAFLEX® double hardness suction cups», ends Andrea Messa from DromontGroup.

Kenos KVG vacuum gripping systems

Kenos® KVG vacuum gripping systems by Piab are developed to simplify handling processes in several industrial sectors, such as for instance wood, ceramics, packaging etc. It is a versatile range, based on technical foam grippers, designed for handling a broad variety of objects with different shapes, sizes and densities. The vast majority of gripper systems can be equipped with integrated vacuum generation, based on Piab’s COAX® series cartridges, like in the case of grippers used by Dromont, or prearranged for the separate vacuum generation, using a vane pump or side channel blower.

Piab’s COAX® vacuum generation technology minimizes the energy consumption while offering safe and fast gripping, due to its high initial vacuum flow rate. The pump unit can deliver high performances even with low or fluctuating supply pressure. This has been proven in independent comparative tests conducted by the “Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU” in Dresden. These tests have proven that Piab cartridges need a significantly llower quantity of compressed air to achieve the same result as ejectors by other suppliers. Consequently, their use reduces the cost of compressed air supply and thus the total manufacturing cost.

Piab’s double hardness DURAFLEX® suction cups are made with a special material that combines the elasticity of rubber with the strength of polyurethane, leaves no marks on handled objects and has a fantastic elastic memory, even after hundreds of thousands of cycles.