Case study: Automating a kitting task with Pick-it
At Benelli, an Italian sportsgun manufacturer, the introduction of robots with 3D vision was a necessary step to meet its increased production and quality demands. The company now installed one robot, equipped with a Pick-it 3D vision system, that works 24/7 in its factory to produce a variety of kitted units. As you will read further in this article, this is not just a case story about an increased production, it also tells how camera guided robots helped this company to customize production output in a flexible way and, last but not least, to improve an operator’s well-being.
- Company: Benelli
- Industry: Manufacturing
- Country: Italy
- Number of employees: 50 - 70
- Application: Kitting
- Robot brand: Universal robots
Every day at the Benelli factory, many different and often small parts come into production that need to be kitted in plastic boxes. A full time operator was responsible for picking all kinds of different parts from bins and correctly combine them into a variety of kits. As the production demand for these kits increased and as kitting is known to be a repetitive, but demanding, task for humans, the Italian manufacturer decided to contact Pick-its certified channel partner SysDesign to look into options for automation.
Together with Benelli, SysDesign looked for a solution which could automatically pick objects from bins and is flexible enough to deal with the high variability in products. They ended up with Pick-it.
For the kitting application, Pick-it proved to be a reliable solution that accurately picks a variety of parts from many different bins. It can be flexibly programmed for changes in the application and new products can be easily added by simply showing them once to the Pick-it camera. The final robot cell contains three robots by Universal Robots of which one, a UR5, is combined with a Pick-it 3D vision system.
The picture below shows the robot cell at Benelli by SysDesign. From left to right: UR5 with a Pick-it 3D camera and custom gripper for bin picking, UR3 with OnRobot gripper and UR5 with custom gripper.
Marco Franceschini, owner and CEO of system integrator SysDesign: “We looked for a flexible solution on the internet and decided to contact Pick-it since it’s the only system on the market that can build this type of complex applications while staying flexible. We quickly learned how easy it is to make the system detect new parts. Both the customer and my own team are proud of the complex application we managed to build at this factory.”
Finally, because of the new robot cell, the operator can focus on building more complex, one of a kind, kits for special occasions. This way, she is adding more value to the company. Only once a day, for one hour, her task is to fill the bins for the robot, so the robot can work nonstop for another 23 hours.
In the picture below, you see the complete automaton cell at Benelli by SysDesign and Icam. The picture shows a Silo Icam multi-column warehouse solution and three collaborative robots with Pick-it at the bottom right corner.