LEARN ABOUT THE EASE OF OPERATION AND THE INTUITIVE INTERFACE OF WIKPOL’S PALLETIZING AND PACKAGING LINE

CLEAR INTERFACE

When designing robot-based palletizing and packaging lines, we pay careful attention to the work comfort, which includes different fields of ergonomics. One of the examples of such actions is designing the interface for the control apps based on the user experience (UX). As a result. persons who operate our systems communicate with the devices through an intuitive interface (HMI) which presents on the monitor screen of the operator’s panel a clear image of the entire line, the statuses of particular devices, and the current position of the product. Thanks to the advanced diagnostics of the system, they also receive precise information on failures and their location.

SPECIALIZED IT TOOLS

The software of our products is continuously developed to simplify the operation of complex systems as far as possible and integrate with ERP software. An example of the first approach is Alpa-add, a specialized app, which makes it possible for the user to define easily and quickly a scheme of the product’s position in particular layers on the pallet, and the method of placing dividers. Using the app, the employee who operates the line creates three-dimensional models of the arrangement of the elements being palletized. Then, the algorithms prepared are exported to the memory of the robot, which processes the source code to its language, and draws up the trajectory of its own movements.

The feature of changing the scheme of placing the product on the pallet is very important in the existing production reality where increasingly smaller batches of products are being manufactured. The ability to quickly respond to new challenges cost-free often determines the competitive position of an enterprise.

A separate category is the software that makes it possible to connect a robot-based palletizing and secondary packaging line into the plant information circulation, and to monitor the efficiency of its operation remotely. The app downloads from the business management system (SAP, QGUAR, Egeria, IMPULS, MILD, WMS etc.) the data on the current production plans in real time, and activates the right palletizing and packaging app.

The app makes it possible for the employees responsible for the palletizing and packaging process to monitor on a current basis the course of the tasks, and to respond to any new irregularities.

The system additionally makes it possible to:

register the amount of the product palletized and released to the pallet warehouse
integrate with a label applicator
report the line's operation, register failures
parametrize the line's operation
visualize the operation of the line's particular elements
plan inspections, signal the need to perform inspections
remote service access to the system

The app is also the source of data needed to analyze the performance indicators of the production process, for instance OEE, and to diagnose the causes of manufacturing losses.

EXTENSIVE MAINTENANCE PACKAGE

We offer a full range of maintenance services, which we perform remotely via a safe VPN connection, or at the site – at the customer’s plant.

Our maintenance crews composed of highly qualified mechanical engineers, software developers, and robotics experts, promptly react to notifications transferred by SUR.

The proper use of a palletizing and packaging line, which covers e.g. observing the recommended main and periodical inspection deadlines, guarantees a long and trouble-free operation of the devices, while bringing measurable benefits:

minimizes the problems related to operation maintenance
reduces the operation maintenance costs
reduces the failure rate of the equipment and devices
limits the duration of the inspection and maintenance procedures
eliminates spare parts management
helps plan the production processes precisely

We work hard to make sure that our palletizing and packaging lines meet the expectations of their users and help achieve production objectives effectively. For this purpose, we introduce elements of predictive operation maintenance in the scope of consumables, for instance lubricating agents, for the devices we manufacture.

In the case of Fanuc robots, which, together with their grippers, are key elements of the system, predictive operation maintenance proceeds in two ways:

  1. During the line’s start-up, we perform the pre-delivery inspection of the robot, and compare the results received with the data obtained at the next (operational) inspection. Both jobs proceed in the specialized DiagnosticPro app, and the data obtained from them make it possible to define the maintenance procedures or maintenance activities recommended for particular sub-assemblies of the machine.
  2. The next method results in an increased service life of the robot’s elements, e.g. gears. This consists in optimizing the trajectory of its movements, and the speeds and accelerations achieved, by selecting the correct parameters in the Roboguide iRDiagnostics app.

Remote servicing

Remote servicing of the devices has been implemented based on the extensive diagnostics of the control system. Thanks to the online access, the employees of our maintenance service remotely perform a number of operation maintenance activities:

examining events reported (issues, malfunctions)
making corrections, setting parameters

Another example of the aides for the users is the ability to perform remote parametrization of the line’s operation, for instance create new templates for arranging the product on the pallet and edit them.

EFFECTIVE COMMUNICATION

The users of a palletizing and packaging line can directly communicate with Wikpol’s service using the Jira Service Desk platform. The system is intended to shorten the implementation of orders by ordering the information and work flow.

After reporting an event, the customer observes the status of the notification (the current execution status) online. At the same time, they can communicate on a current basis with the designated employee of the service.

The system provides for effective control mechanisms:

the information regarding the status and the time of the order execution are clear and easy to analyse
the system calculates the key effectiveness coefficients presented in the form of reports and charts

Jira Serwis Desk is a tool which helps us support our customers. It guarantees that they receive current, comprehensive information about the status of the events reported, and makes it possible to transfer comments and proposals.

TRAINING

Before starting the operation of a palletizing and packaging line, our customers undergo a complex technical training course, in which, in addition to theoretical topics, we emphasize the practical operation of the system. During the course, we simulate non-standard situations, breakdowns, and defects that might occur in the operation of particular devices. (For example, we simulate covering an optical sensor with a piece of foil from the wrapping machine, which theoretically could fall from a pallet passing by.) We teach the employees to handle maneuvering in the manual mode, and the operator should execute the operations on the HMI panel, which make it possible to continue the automatic operation.

The training courses are also a perfect opportunity to test our products in difficult conditions. For instance, the protection level of the interface and possible errors in the controller’s software are examined by the course participants by clicking the keys on the operator’s panel. The software passes the safety test, if such accidental use does not result in the interface freezing or in another more serious defect.

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