ESS: Redesigned Robotic Mini Pallet Cell

New CR-35iA Collaborative Robot helps pallet cell reduce workplace injuries by using precision sensors.

New CR-35iA Collaborative Robot helps pallet cell reduce workplace injuries by using precision sensors.
New CR-35iA Collaborative Robot helps pallet cell reduce workplace injuries by using precision sensors.

ESS Technologies, Inc. has redesigned its best-selling Robotic Mini Pallet Cell to incorporate FANUC’s new CR-35iA Collaborative Robot. The CR-35iA Collaborative Robot features 24 precision sensors that cause it to stop all motion when it comes in contact with an object or person. This eliminates the need for safety guarding and reduces the footprint of the robotic cell.

Without guarding, the CR-35iA will operate up to 2 cycles/min. Greater speeds can be achieved (5 to 6 cycles/min) with the use of area sensors to detect motion within the robotic cell. ESS designs the robot end-of-arm tooling (EOAT) to securely pick one or more cases and place them in a pre-programmed pattern on the pallet, which the operator manually places in the floor-mounted pallet position. The pallet cell is available in single cell and dual-cell configurations.

The CR-35iA offers a payload of 35kg and a reach of 1,813mm for automating manual palletizing processes. This allows manufacturers to reduce workplace injuries caused by lifting heavy cases or performing repetitive motions. To further increase workplace safety, the robot itself is designed to operate in close proximity to humans in a shared workspace without the need for safety fences. The green robot cover is padded to reduce impact forces and pinch points by providing a soft barrier between a human operator and a robot arm. The stopped robot arm can be gently pushed away from people or objects by the operator if needed.

In applications requiring placement of a deck sheet or tier sheet, the same robot and tooling performs these functions. When integrated with serialization track-and-trace systems, the robot may also be programmed to hold case labels over cameras or barcode scanners to verify the pallet load or provide automatic reject of incorrectly labeled cases. The CR-35iA collaborative robot may also be integrated into fully automated pallet cells that include pallet dispensers and pallet conveyors to move empty and loaded pallets through the system.

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