RoboTier Control System

RoboTier controls consist of a Fanuc robot controller functioning as an electronic slave to an Allen Bradley PLC and B&R color touchscreen HMI. The control interface is easy to use and eliminates any requirement for robot programming by the end user. The robot functions as a component in a comprehensive palletizing solution.

The Fanuc robot provides exceptional reliability and speed capabilities. The robot arm is used only in its most advantageous form: a highly reliable pick and place device running a very brief operating instruction set that never changes. The robot program establishes the work envelope, move profiles, and interface with the PLC master controller. Teach pendant processing, complicated robot program touch-up, and specialized robot programming skills are not required.

The AB CompactLogix PLC master controller using Studio 5000 Logix Designer software interfaces with the PC HMI to provide seamless real-time robot movement instructions via a dedicated Ethernet connection. The electronic slave relationship between the PLC master and robot controller facilitates all robot actions including automatic operations, manual moves, and any error recovery. All relevant robot-generated messages for maintenance, errors, and other robot specific information are displayed on the HMI.

The PLC master controller includes EasyStack┬« palletizer PLC code. TopTier standards such as networked VFD's, advanced diagnostics, and Ethernet communications are all integrated into RoboTier palletizers. The touchscreen HMI provides user interface to all palletizer functions. AB FactoryTalk┬« View and EasyStack provides access to all robot functions via the PLC. New patterns can be programmed at the HMI quickly and easily. The PC also collects performance data that can be interfaced to a host. Maintenance manuals, exploded view drawings, operator manuals, and OEM manuals are accessible at the touchscreen. Factory support via remote access to the PLC is available at the discretion of the end user.

Exclusively from TopTier, Spread Pattern Load Building allows the robot with bottom product support tooling to rapidly pick and place products to loose positions on the RoboTier layer apron. The apron clamps and then deposits the layer in a tight finished condition. The traditional task of tuning the robot program to tighten finished layer condition is eliminated. Spread Pattern Load Building is immune to challenges created by common product irregularities such as bulging, minor height variations, parallelogram cases, and other challenges that often undermine the effectiveness of robotic palletizing. Bottom support product picking provides the most secure and flexible method available for product handling, capable of reliably palletizing nearly any sealed, open-top, display, tray or overwrapped tray-less product.

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