Designing high-speed automated material handling and pick and place systems that incorporate six-axis robots presents engineers with two challenges: enabling bidirectional robotic travel while also ensuring the safety of nearby workers.
In many robotic systems, the designer positions a rail between three different stages: the robot operation area, an intermediate section where the rail is completely closed and the human loading area. That creates the possibility of a protruding rail that may interfere with the robot or human.
That’s why Rollon has added a driving disc to its 100 percent extension Telescopic Rail model. Fitted onto the end of an I-beam called the DE...D Series, a metal driving disc provides bidirectional rail travel. The user simply opens the drawer and places the material inside. The driving disc allows full extension for the loading area by opening one appendage at a time. When the drawer is full, it is pushed back into the intermediate section — also one at a time. This consolidates the rail, preventing snag hazards for workers. The robot then grabs the handle of the drawer, opens it and begins its work. When the robot runs out of the materials, it pushes the drawer back to the intermediate section and the cycle repeats. With this system, the robot can function at full speed in a protected environment without workers having unintended, dangerous contact with the robot.
In addition to making sure the intermediate element returns to the correct position and does not remain in an undefined position because of double strokes, the DE...D rail offers many of the other features that make Rollon’s Telescopic Rail Series well-suited for automated systems including:
- An inductively hardened raceway for long life.
- A high load capacity.
- Extremely low deflection and smoothness of movement — even in high-load, 24/7 applications.
- Custom units.
The DE...D System comes in sizes 28, 35, 43 and 63 with three different fixing hole styles. With its ability to address bidirectional travel and long list of features, Rollon’s DE...D Telescopic Rail continues to be a very popular rail for robot integrators.