Both the design of the devices included in the Wikpol robotic lines and the design of entire lines and control systems are carried out using modern design methods and tools.

Structural designs

Designing mechanical structures of equipment is a complex process consisting in developing concepts and models of mechanical components as well as their specifications and documentation in order to create functional and efficient devices. The process also involves digital simulations.

Wikpol’s designers carry out these tasks using modern software that enables the execution of a digital model of the designed line and mapping the actual operating conditions of the machines in terms of the mechanical loads they involve. This tool allows us for virtual testing of devices for correct functioning and proper selection of materials. It is also used to conduct the necessary strength calculations (MES method), as well as to assess the ergonomics of devices.

In case of the crucial element of palletizing and packaging line, that is the robot’s gripper, the MES analysis enables an effective solution to issues that will determine its usefulness
and durability, such as:

lightness vs rigidity
providing the necessary functions vs. simplicity of design
the right level of reliability vs. low weight

The videos present the von Mises stress-reduced test for the feeder arm and shelf.

Robot grippers constitute a good example illustrating the multidimensionality of a design task. On the one hand, they must match the product characteristics and working conditions perfectly:

product characteristics: weight, shape, dimensions, material from which it was made, resistance to mechanical damage and deformation
working conditions: temperature and its amplitude, humidity, dust, presence of chemical agents, available working space, special hygiene requirements regarding sterility of execution

On the other hand, they are subjected to numerous limitations associated with the physical parameters:

mass/dimensions/moment of inertia
load carrying capacity

Finally, the design of the gripper must be such as to guarantee the expected performance (cycle time) within the framework of optimal production and operating costs, of course also taking the aforesaid external factors into account.

Control designs

The design of the control system is a multi-stage process. It is initiated with the analysis of the overall line concept and customer control requirements. The designers of Wikpol automation, after getting acquainted with the technological drawings of the lines and the designs of the equipment structures, perform an assessment of the technical risks for the machines. On the basis of its results, as well as machine safety standards, technical safety measures are selected.

In the subsequent step, they elaborate control designs for individual devices, taking into account control components such as: sensors, solenoid valves, PLCs, safety controllers. For this they utilize the Wikpol’s proprietary software suite. At this stage, the control concept is verified by the design team. In the case of a positive assessment, automation designers develop control designs. This process is partially automated with use of automated diagram generator that retrieves batch files created by Wikpol software. The control designs prepared in this way are subject to another, this time final, assessment. Then, protocols (including ISO) are created to check control systems and machines after the assembly and commissioning stage.

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Before the start of operation of the palletizin...
The stage of assembly and commissioning of the ...