Gerhard Schubert GmbH: Transmodule robot development

More compact design, increased acceleration, and faster wireless data transfer highlight improvements for this programmable single-axis robot for TLM packaging lines.

Schubert TLM Transmodul
Schubert TLM Transmodul

Research and development work on the TLM Transmodule continues from Gerhard Schubert GmbH. Newly announced innovations to the freely programmable single-axis robot, which moves on a section of rail within TLM packaging lines, are a more compact design, a maximum acceleration increase to 8 m/s2,  and a wireless data transfer via WLAN that will be twice as fast in the future. Development of the patented Transmodule follows the same principle as all TLM system components: less machinery and more intelligence ensure maximum flexibility.

The current development phase is complete, and the new performance standard will be in place starting in the summer of 2013. This includes the conversion to the Uni 5 VMS controller generation. The individual Transmodule will still be 600-mm long.

Since its introduction in 2009, around 1,600 Transmodules have been in use in packaging machines across the globe. When transporting products and packaging, the Transmodule is not encumbered by mechanical equipment usually required for cycling in, buffering, and backing up, for example. The autonomous robot can move on a section of path in sync and in coordination with the filling process and then proceed with the pick-and-place process continuously and in a controlled manner. The processes involved are optimally decoupled. It is possible to fill four boxes, erect two more, and close another one in a section, all at the same time.

In addition to the transport of products and packaging, the Transmodule functions during a fully automatic tool change, transporting the tools back and forth. The Transmodule also enables great flexibility in the TLM filling line presented in 2012. Among other things, it plays a decisive role in the gravimetric filling process.

The patented TLM Transmodule is a single-axis, rail-based robot. Up to 32 of the freely programmable Transmodules can move autonomously on a section of rail. The section of rail can pass through any number of sub-machines. A turning unit is located at the end of the section. Unloaded modules travel back to the other end on a lower track. The transfer of power and data to Transmodules is done wirelessly. Exchangeable size plates are placed on the transport carriage. If installed, an integrated vacuum pump is used as needed. For the first time ever, it is possible to build redundancy into packaging machines thanks to the Transmodule. The failure of one Transmodule has no effect on the availability of the machine.

• Single-axis, rail-based robot
• Wireless energy and data transfer
• Data transfer: 4 Mbit/s
• Cycled and continuous movement; path control
• Position precision: +/- 0.1 mm
• Acceleration up to 8 m/s2, speed up to 4.5 m/s
• Drive output: 1 kW; kinetic energy recovery system
• Load bearing capacity of max. 40 kg
• Adjustable vacuum generators
• Attachment: manually swappable size plates
• Tasks: e.g. transport of products, boxes, robot tools for mounting workpieces and containers to be filled with liquids.
• Section of rail passes through any number of sub-machines or beyond.