Promotech is ready and committed to leave its footprint in the world of robotics. What is industrial robotic automation and what are its advantages?

author: Promotech Srl

Industry Insight by:

Promotech srl

Industry 4.0 development has considerably spread the use of Industrial Robotics Automation systems, even in sectors previously far from it.
The need to increase production efficiency and develop new business paths has made robots in the industrial sector to reach such an importance that it is almost impossible to imagine doing some works without their help. The paper and converting industry is no exception.

Industrial robotics is a secondary area of Industrial Automation involving the use of robots to assist the operator with some processes, improving his ergonomics or increasing his speed. Thanks to the robotization of processes (Robotic Process Automation) it is possible to obtain production increases, lower costs, greater precision and reliability. There are several advantages in using robotics in the industrial processes but we can mainly reduce them to three categories: productivity, precision and efficiency. A robot is able to perform many tasks autonomously or semi-autonomously through previously programmed movements, or by adapting its performance to the environmental and process context, using sensors and/or artificial intelligence solutions. In this case, the system acquires data, processes them and adjusts the operation of the machine accordingly.

The use of industrial robotic automation solutions was born in the assembly line to replace humans with robots and automated systems capable of taking on repetitive and tiring tasks ensuring high speeds. It has now developed to very different application realities thanks to the use of artificial intelligence or human-robot collaboration solutions. As a consequence of current and future developments of this technology, its fields of application are multiplying, as well as the advantages for those who automate industrial processes.

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Paper and tissue industry: which robots to use

The use of robots is particularly suitable for all those situations in which hard works requiring special attention have to be managed, as they may jeopardise the worker’s health. For instance, we are referring to activities involving the use of particular tools such as blades and presses or characterized by demanding tasks such as moving massive paper reels or managing potentially hazardous substances. In all these cases, a robot allows you to carry out the activity while ensuring the safety of your staff. The workers can perform activities that have a greater impact on the company, increasing their contribution to the overall productivity – as they doesn’t have to deal with repetitive tasks with low-added value anymore. Thus, the increase in productivity becomes complete. In fact, the ability of robots to increase business productivity should not be overlooked. Furthermore, in particular situations such as the current one, robotic automation has made possible to guarantee work continuity and respond flexibly to processing variations, unexpected staff reductions and sudden peaks in demand. In addition, the use of robots significantly reduces the risk of oversights and errors, thanks to the high and constant precision degree of the operations, reducing non-homogeneity and processing waste. Finally, it is possible to accurately schedule processes, tests, updates and workflows, always knowing in advance how long they will last and how uniform the results will be. Given these capabilities, robots can be particularly useful in the paper and converting industry for activities such as machine tending, material handling and end-of-line and packaging management.


Promotech and Yaskawa, a partnership for exceptional performance

In order to meet the needs of its customers and provide the ideal solution for all production needs, by automating and speeding up processes, Promotech has chosen MOTOMAN robots and offers complete assistance to its customers. In addition to the wide range of options for various applications such as robots for welding, palletizing, painting and handling, our Group offers models specifically designed for high-quality automated systems manufactured according to the turnkey formula. Characterised by an unparalleled efficiency, Yaskawa MOTOMAN robots are available in different series and are widely used in any sector and application, especially in the paper and converting sector.


Fast and versatile

The robotic islands that can be created with 6-axis robots are characterised by their compactness and speed. They are suitable for high speed assembly and handling applications, such as machine tending, where they offer payload options from 4 to 600 kg.
The small size and slim design of the robot arm reduce the installation space and the risk of interference with peripheral systems, increasing installation flexibility. Equipped with an IP67 degree of protection to be used even in harsh environments, the robots are easy to configure, integrate and maintain.


Palletizing specialists

Another solution is specifically designed for the end-of-line automation. The 4-axis robots can move and build up pallets easily and accurately, due to a loading capacity from 190 to 500 kg and to a range of vertical movement of 3024 mm combined with a horizontal outreach stretching up to 3159 mm. It is a compact application, but at the same time flexible and powerful. Thanks to a high acceleration and speed, it is able to perform up to 1200 palletizing cycles in one hour. Furthermore, the power regeneration function can reduce the consumption of the robot by almost 30%. To enable an increasingly enhanced use of pneumatic drives or suction systems, the robots adopt a large diameter hollow structure for the wrist at the top of the arm, so as to allow the housing of continuously growing pipes.


Partnership with no limits

The new application frontier is to make use of the 6-axis hybrid robots combining the stability and high movement speeds of an industrial robot with a special collaboration with humans, based on the safe limitation of the contact forces between worker and robot. In this way, they can be used according to the ISO TS15066 technical specifications without additional protective measures. In addition, the arm design prevents hands from getting stuck or pinched.
It results in an extreme flexibility of installation for all those situations in which the coexistence of robot and man is frequent but not continuous. Regarding programming, in addition to the conventional teaching methods via programming pendant, the robot is equipped with the Direct Teach (DT) function enabling the robot arm to be manually operated and instructed to perform selected actions. Therefore, the robot is extremely easy to manoeuvre even for users not accustomed to these systems and for processes that require frequent programming.
The collaborative line uses a version with a payload of 20 kg and an outreach of 1700 mm, allowing large objects to be managed. To date, the packaging technology is based on powerful and reliable automation components. For plant workers, unplanned downtime is not acceptable, particularly at the end of the production chain. This applies to all machines related to the paper industry. In order to accurately perform these processes, each single component, from the controller to the robotics, must work seamlessly together.
It is easier, more effecient and more suitable for mechanical engineers to rely on the products and expertise of a single manufacturer.
Promotech along with Yaskawa, has long established itself as a reliable automation partner in the world of modern packaging technology, with today’s powerful motion controllers and drive systems combined with a wide range of robot solutions designed specifically for packaging systems to allow quick and suitable solutions. Across Europe and around the world, Yaskawa is proud of our network of System Integrators experts, who will design and build the perfect packing station or line for your specific needs. Today Promotech with its Holding Company is able to provide complete turnkey solutions with a view to industry 4.0.

Promotech in Italy and around the world

Promotech was established and developed in Lucca, a one-in-the-world centre of the paper industry. Since the 1990s, along with the distribution of technologies for industrial automation and sales, we have been developing a hardware and software consultancy support that offers a series of tailor-made services dedicated to the specific needs of each company and sector. Leading companies in the paper, packaging, pharmaceutical, food and other industrial sectors have chosen us as their partner thanks to a dynamic and specialized organizational structure. Our strengths: large warehouse availability of new, obsolete – used and refurbished – components, problem-solving skills, technical support and repair service.


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