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Among the many innovations that are making robot islands increasingly efficient and high-performance, Bin Picking is undoubtedly one of the most interesting.

It is a sensing system capable of directing a robot to pick up objects scattered in a bin and subsequently place them in a processing machine.

Given the leaps and bounds of robotics and artificial intelligence in recent years, this may seem like a simple task. In reality, Bin Picking is an extremely complex task for a robot.

The pieces are mixed and, perhaps, interlocked. This complicates things considerably because it involves the robot grabbing the pieces in an infinite number of orientations. It has to reach into every part of the container, even the corners, and extract the piece while avoiding collisions of various kinds.

To take randomly positioned parts from the container and place them precisely in the machine, multiple technologies must therefore be integrated.

Bin Picking: how does it work?

At the functional level, there are several components that must work synergistically with each other, namely vision, gripping elements and robot management.

  1. By vision we mean the 3D vision systems required to map the container and the arrangement of the contained parts.

    Primary is the role of the software of this device, which performs multiple tasks:

    • analysing images from 3D vision
    • planning the movements of the gripping elements
    • planning the robot's trajectory from the part pick-up point to the part unloading point
    • definition of algorithms that avoid collisions of the robot's gripping tools with the edges of the boxes and other objects.

    Using the best technologies on the market, Tera Automation ensures a foolproof vision system for the detection and recognition of blanks of all types.

  2. Gripping elements, also called EOAT (End of Arm Tool), are the ends of the robot that interact directly with the price to be picked.

    Each part that the robot has to handle will need an accurate feasibility study that the end customer will be able to manage independently through the software mentioned in point 1.

    Tera Automation, thanks to its team of experts with specialized skills in various sectors (high fashion, aeronautics, automotive, precious metals, etc.), is at your complete disposal for advice and suggestions to help you achieve the goals set by the end user of the robot island.

  3. The management of the robot is a crucial aspect of the system: a simple but effective management approach is the key to ensuring the success of the application.

    Tera Automation succeeds in meeting customers' needs thanks to an innovative vision that focuses on flexibility. In fact, our robotic islands are capable of handling several tasks at the same time and respond excellently to even the most complex production requirements.

A good synergy between these three elements is the key to making Bin Picking a truly useful and versatile tool for different industrial automation contexts.

The advantages of Bin Picking for industrial robotics

The use of Bin Picking in an automated line offers several advantages that are easy to see:

  1. Increased productivity: the robot provides 24-hour continuity of operation
  2. Reduction of labour costs: human intervention is no longer necessary. The worker can be employed in more specialised jobs
  3. Prevention of defective parts: human errors on the positioning of the part for picking up by the robot are reduced to zero. This drastically reduces the percentage of defective parts at the end of the production cycle
  4. Space saving: the number of workpiece feeding peripherals is reduced, allowing production lines to be set up in a limited space.

Bin Picking from Tera Automation: the integrative solutions for optimising production

In light of these advantages, we at Tera Automation have integrated Bin Picking technology into different automated systems, each designed to meet specific production requirements.

Tera Automation’s Bin Picking solution emerges as the key element in ensuring an agile and optimised process for bulk loads. Developed in collaboration with 3D vision experts, it offers advanced solutions characterized by extraordinary ease of use. In fact, it can even be used by inexperienced operators, and setup and route tuning times are reduced to a minimum.

This proposal not only meets the needs of those handling a single bulk load, but also demonstrates that agility can be perfectly integrated with maximum efficiency, placing Bin Picking at the centre of a strategy aimed at optimising production operations.

Bin Picking + T-Loop Feeder: productivity that doubles

This system combines Tera’s advanced Bin Picking with the proven T-Loop Feeder belt picker, thus integrating two vision systems. The 3D vision system controls the Bin Picking, while the 2D vision system controls the T-Loop Feeder. Two vision systems for two similar but distinct operations, which the robot alternates in a circuit of activities in which there is no downtime.

This automation is integrated in our T-Flexicell robot cell designed for CNC serving. Overcoming traditional limitations, the combination of these two systems maximises the efficiency of handling the loading/unloading of objects of various shapes and sizes and optimises the production flow.

Bin Picking + grip from indexed pallet: order and precision without compromise

For industries that require order and precision in the handling of workpieces, Tera has created a solution that combines the efficiency of Bin Picking with the precision of gripping from indexed pallet.

Designed to grasp and lift objects precisely within the work area, pallet gripping is particularly useful in applications where the organisation of objects is crucial, or where there must be no contact between the elements to be machined.

This perfect synthesis offers a robotic island marked by flexibility, able to adapt with agility to a wide range of workpieces.

The most sophisticated technology and continuous innovation can make robotic islands ever more efficient and productive. From the standard version to the more integrated one, we at Tera Automation put all our expertise at the disposal of our customers to design the Bin Picking solution that best meets their individual production needs.