RobotFiller allows safe, automated filling

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The German company, Feige Filling, supplies a robotic filling technology equipped with Cognex vision that provides a safe, rapid, cost-effective, and fully automated filling process. Equipped with the In-Sight 5401 camera plus PatMax, the 'RobotFiller', a robot with a four or six-jointed arm, can locate the different container stoppers for filling, even when they arrive in various positions on the pallet.

Cognex PatMax technology uses pattern-matching technology to locate the stoppers with screw closures on the drums. As the stoppers are arranged off-centre at the edge of the drum lid, they tend to be in a different position on every pallet.

Once the stopper is located, the filling process starts. RobotFiller picks up a tool, which it uses to remove the screw closures of the drums. It then changes tools and grips the filling valve to suit the filling job. RobotFiller can therefore switch between different filling valves and tools for further processing in a fully automated procedure, considerably accelerating filling of the containers.

The RobotFiller also protects staff when critical substances are being handled, as the filling area can be enclosed and subjected to extraction.

Code-reading properties mean that the In-Sight 5401 can detect every container. The information passed on to a safety system further up the chain ensures that the right containers for filling are located on the pallet. In addition, the robust characteristics of the In-Sight 5401 are of real value in this kind of operating environment, which is susceptible to toxic material and flammable substances.

Axel Frank, automation technology manager at Feige Filling, believes the benefits of combining the In-Sight 5401 with the jointed-arm robot are obvious. Attached directly to the end of the robot arm and supported by eight LEDs arranged in a circle, the intelligent camera system ensures an optimal filling process.

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