This section provides an overview for pick & place units as well as their applications and principles. Also, please take a look at the list of 9 pick & place unit manufacturers and their company rankings. Here are the top-ranked pick & place unit companies as of February, 2024: 1.Generic Slides, 2.Festo, 3.KSS Co., Ltd..
A pick and place machine is a device and system designed to perform a series of operations: picking up an object in a specific position, transferring it to a predetermined position, unloading it, and placing it there.
In factories, pick-and-place can be said to be the mainstay of the line, regardless of the type of product. Pick-and-place systems can handle large objects that cannot be transported by human power, as well as small objects that require precise movement and installation on a micro scale.
Pick and place machines are used in the manufacturing process of many products, including automobiles, machine parts, electronic parts, electronic devices, home appliances, food, pharmaceuticals, cosmetics, paper, film, wire rod, construction materials, inspection, and testing. Although these systems are mainly used on factory production lines, they are also useful in the research field for the accurate movement, installation, and implantation of microscopic objects.
In addition, the system can improve on conventional problems such as time-consuming assembly due to the large number of parts, time-consuming adjustments, and too many complicated operation processes.
The implementation consists of a robot part that performs the operation, an arm part that executes the task, and a camera part that recognizes the target object. The process begins with the camera detecting the target object's position. Based on image processing results, the robot moves to the target object's location and utilizes the arm to pick it up.
Next, the robot moves to the designated placement area and gently releases the object. Pick methods can involve suction, suspension, or arm grasping. Pick-and-place systems are basically required to be more precise in terms of speed and accuracy, as they are related to productivity.
Flexibility, sensitivity, and strength are also required, depending on the nature of the work. The size of the machine itself is also designed so that it does not interfere with the production line and can be operated more easily.
There are various types of pick and place machines, but the following are representative examples.
The cam system uses a plate cam to convert the rotation of the input shaft into back-and-forth and up-and-down motion. The arm connects to linear slide guides, enabling both movements.
The roller gear cam system consists of two sets of roller gear cams, one set of which converts rotational motion into forward/backward motion and the other set into up/down motion. Rotation of the input shaft allows the arm to move up, down, and up in sequence.
These mechanisms increase the speed of the pick and place machine by accelerating the rotation of the input shaft. Also, because positioning is done by cam, position repeatability is good, but strokes and other adjustments are not possible.
Speeds generally range from 0.2 to 0.5 seconds per cycle with a stroke of 100 mm or less, and position repeatability is about 0.02 mm.
Some pick and place machines use articulated robots. Vertically articulated robots are not fast, but they are capable of various receiving and delivering postures, and large types can move heavy objects over a wide range.
SCARA robots are used for equipment such as automatic machines, where receiving and delivering are performed in a fixed posture and speed is required. SCARA robots can move horizontally at high speeds, enabling pick and place machine operations to be performed in about 0.4 seconds per cycle, which is about the same speed as a cam type robot. Some of them also have position repeatability of 0.01 mm or less, enabling high-speed, high-precision transfer.
Unlike the cam type, pick and place machines using an articulated robot can freely change the receiving and delivery positions and movement trajectory.
Pick-and-place robots using articulated robots employ NC (numerical control) to manage precise robot movements, such as movement, rotation, and auxiliary movements of each axis.
G code describes the conditions and sequence of machining and movements such as positioning, while M code serves as a supplement to G code.
Pick and place machines are operations that require quick decision-making. They require instantaneous judgment of the shape and color of products flowing on the conveyor, tasks conventionally performed by hand.
Today, with the development of vision sensors and pick-and-place robots, accuracy and unwavering speed can be achieved. The pick-and-place robot does not suffer from the loss of speed caused by errors in judgment due to the loss of concentration that occurs with human hands.
In some workplaces, the physical and mental burden caused by the work being done with a person sitting in the middle of the back can also be eliminated.
*Including some distributors, etc.
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Lift Products, Inc., established in 1994, is an American manufacturer based in Waukesha, Wisconsin, specializing in ergonomic industrial equipment. The company presents a lineup of material handling solutions encompassing electric carts, lift tables, mobile lifts, and pallet trucks. Other product offerings include skid lifters, stackers, tilters, and tuggers. Hydraulic, rotating, and pneumatic work positioners are also available. It also provides custom industrial and material handling equipment, notably for electric carts, lift tables, and tilters. The company serves various industries, including oil and energy, food and pharmaceutical, as well as heavy equipment. Other industries served include logistics, manufacturing, metal working, retail, and woodworking.
Generic Slides is an American linear motion and positioning solutions manufacturer established in 1971 and based in Glenshaw, Pennsylvania. The company produces various linear single axis and ball slides, multiple axis stages, x-y tables, and servo-slide systems as well as accessories that improve performance or functionality, such as motors, encoders, and limit switches. These have applications in the robotics and automation, defense, semiconductor, and aerospace sectors. Generic Slides also provides contract manufacturing and installation services to clients with niche use cases.
Festo Corp., originally established in 1925 in Germany, has offices worldwide and is a manufacturer and direct supplier of automation solutions for OEMs. The company produces and sells pneumatic and electrical control systems, drive technology for factories, and process automation. Examples include fittings, actuators, sensors, vacuum technology, pneumatic power modules, electrical control technology, integrated systems, and accessories. They have also expanded into robot control systems. Their custom services include the design, engineering, and production of partial and complete automation control process lines for OEM clients.
CKD Corporation, established in 1943 under the name of Japan Aircraft Electric Co., Ltd., is a Japanese manufacturer of automation machinery and manufacturing components, headquartered in Komaki, Aichi. Their diverse portfolio includes pneumatic and fluid control components, fine system components, drive components, and labor-saving components. The company has also developed various types of automation machinery, such as transparent object inspection systems, pharmaceutical products packaging machines, and more. These products find applications in various industries, for example their automated food packaging systems are designed for maintaining food quality and hygienic conditions. Their fluid control components are used in the solar cell manufacturing process.
Festo Corporation, established in 1925 and headquartered in Esslingen, Germany, is a supplier of automation technology and technical education and is ISO 9001, ISO 13485, and ISO14001 certified. It has around 33,000 catalog products, customized components, and ready-to-install solutions, including grippers, motors, and sensors used in industrial and process automation. The company won the German Future Award in 2010 and serves 300,000 customers worldwide, while its education division provides training solutions for 56,000 industrial companies and educational institutions. It registered €3.81 billion in the 2022 financial year and is available in around 60 countries, with 2,600 patents worldwide.
Yamaha Motor Co. Ltd., founded in 1955 and based in Iwata, Japan, is a manufacturer and distributor of motorized products. Its product range includes several lines of motorcycles, scooters, and motorized bicycles. Its motorcycles feature an electronic control system for stabilization and a responsive braking system for safety. The company also offers, recreational off-highway vehicles, outboards, and snowmobiles. The company has received several accolades such as the Red Dot Design Award for 12 consecutive years and operates the Yamaha Technical Academy for technician certification.
KSS Co., Ltd., founded in 1978 in South Korea, is a manufacturer and supplier of precision ball screws and linear motion components. The company’s product range includes a wide range of ball screws, linear guides, and actuators, catering to industries such as automation, machine tools, and electronics manufacturing. KSS aims to deliver quality and efficient motion solutions that enhance precision and effectiveness in various applications. Courtesy of its continuous creativity and customer satisfaction, KSS enhances the advancement of industries by providing advanced ball screws and linear motion technology.
*Including some distributors, etc.
*Including some distributors, etc.
|Number of Companies
|United States of America