It's in the mail -Servocontroller keeps samples coming

Aug. 8, 2002
Next time you get a CD, shampoo bottle, or other sample in the mail, you can thank engineers at Pack-Smart Inc., Toronto,for figuring out how to get such how to get such irregularly shaped objects into envelopes.
The Pack-Smart 911RDRotary Placer Machineuses an Industrial IndexingSystem DeltaMax 11.2-axisservosystem to controlrotational speed of thearms. The arms carrysuction cups to pick upoddly shaped objects. Theservosystem also monitorsenvelope placement on theconveyor belt.
Aircraft-gradealuminum usedon the rotarycarrier limitsinertia andcontributes toproductplacementaccuracy.
Its in the mail Servocontroller keeps samples coming

Next time you get a CD, shampoo bottle, or other sample in the mail, you can thank engineers at Pack-Smart Inc., Toronto, for figuring out how to get such how to get suchirregularly shaped objects into envelopes. Odd-ball items such as these create problems for conventional pick-and-place machines. Careful spacing is a must for envelopes on theconveyor line feeding traditional insertion equipment. Required spacing accuracy is often measured in thousandths of an inch.

OEM servosystem specialist Industrial Indexing Systems,Rochester, N.Y., devised optical sensors for the project. The sensors recognize an envelopes leading edge. A 1.5-axis servocontroller notes the edgeposition and the conveyor speed. It uses this information to compute the arrival time. This data lets arm-mounted suction cups dropsamples in envelopes at just the right time. The beauty of this approach is that the system works reliably even when envelopes arerandomly spaced or the conveyor changes speed. Line speed is about 3 units/sec.

We need precise placement, notes Brian Gagnon, president of MagicMailer And the new machine gives us that. We routinely get routinely get 0.003-in. accuracy, more than enough to guarantee that CDs, for example, get intothe envelope correctly and are not damaged in the process.

In a trial run, engineers had the rotary placer machine place 50,000 CDs into envelopes. Test showed none of the CDs hadhandling damage.

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