SACMI RobotLoad: the latest milestone in sanitaryware automation

SACMI RobotLoad: the latest milestone in sanitaryware automation

The latest generation solution designed to control operations usually still reliant on manual handling and operator experience. Producing important results both for operator safety and product quality.

Technological developments have led to increased automation throughout most production stages of the sanitaryware industry, from casting to glazing, to piece handling. Among the first to introduce robotics into the sector, back in the nineties, SACMI today is pleased to present RobotLoad, a technology which can be applied to those operations which even today, despite widespread adoption of automatic systems, are still carried out entirely or mainly by hand.
Developed at SACMI’s R&D centre in Imola, RobotLoad is the automatic solution for loading and unloading sanitaryware in and out of kiln cars. Still today these operations are usually performed manually by workers who have to handle heavy pieces at high temperatures with all the consequent risks for the health & safety of the operator and for the quality of the product, that can be damaged due to frequent manual handling.
RobotLoad therefore introduces smart automation of all kiln car loading and unloading operations using newly designed technologies and tools.  Thanks to special vision systems, RobotLoad is able to recognize the positions and models of the sanitaryware pieces to be handled, thus optimizing operations. The actual piece handling operation is then carried out by a universal “suction” tool, installed on the side of the robot, which is extremely versatile and suitable for handling many different piece models and sizes.   
A further activity developed by SACMI’s R&D centre involves the handling of supports (ceramic plates and expanded polystyrene sheets). Automatic control has been applied to these operations too, whilst maintaining versatility according to the type of kiln (tunnel, shuttle, roller) to be loaded/unloaded and with personalized solutions based on the specific set-up of the customer’s production plant.
In addition to the mechanical parts and tools, RobotLoad is also provided with innovative software, the result of years of research by the SACMI Sanitaryware team, such as “Smart Positioning Software” and the “Smart Vision System”. The first of these serves to optimize the positioning of pieces on board the car, which was previously carried out only by hand and was reliant on operator experience. The second system is used for on-board control of the position of the sanitaryware pieces and their model so as to optimize the robot missions for unloading and pick-up under different conditions.


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