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JR Automation is a leading provider of intelligent automated manufacturing and technology solutions that solve customers’ key operational and productivity challenges. JR Automation serves customers across the globe in a variety of industries, including automotive, life sciences, aerospace, and more.

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JR AUTOMATION & ADVANCED DRAINAGE SYSTEMS: FLEXIBLE PIPE SORTING AND PALLETIZING SYSTEM

POSTED 06/04/2024

CHALLENGE

Advanced Drainage Systems (ADS) needed assistance in optimizing the strapping and palletizing of 10-foot-long sticks of plastic pipe, which are extruded 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Due to labor shortages, the company was unable to keep up with packaging and palletizing, causing piece loss and quality issues. Even during uptime, the pipe’s flexibility and length presented several safety and ergonomic challenges for employees.

SOLUTION

Working side by side with ADS, JR Automation designed a creative solution to these challenges. The extruded pipe sticks are fed onto a conveyor system that leads to a custom-built hopper station, that holds a second style of pipe. From there, a part stacking machine pulls the required numbers of each pipe type together into 2-, 3-, 5-, or 7-piece stacks. Each stack is then pushed through an auto strapping system that lashes together the set, in multiple locations. If necessary, a flipper cell can rotate the pack over for optimal stacking. Finally, a FANUC robot picks the pipe stack and places it onto a pallet or crate, optimizing the placement of each for maximum capacity.

OUTCOMES AND BENEFITS

By implementing this innovative automation, JR Automation and Advanced Drainage Systems were able to collaborate to increase throughput for several different diameters of piping. Additionally, JR Automation was able to significantly minimize the manual handling of the part by ADS employees, minimizing ergonomic and safety concerns. The system also is pre-configured to allow ADS to efficiently mix and match pipe types into 2-, 3-, 5- and 7-packs before palletizing, all without downtime for adjustments.