Gripwiq has produced special suction grippers for the innovative solution for robotic salmon sides handling developed by Inser Robotica.
(video: Inser Robotica)
Their mission is to improve pick-and-place efficiency by developing tailored end effector solutions that are gentle, food-grade, and efficient in high-speed applications. Their gripping technology has been shown to work well for automated handling of raw, frozen, and irregular in shape items, as well as automated packing of thermosealed/canned products.
SofTouch and QuickZhift for vacuum applications
The key features in all solutions are SofTouch and QuickZhift concepts. SofTouch stands for gentle yet firm vacuum application, whereas QuickZhift system insures fast change of tools and user-friendly maintenance.
GRIPWIQ only works with high quality and food safe materials, which comply with EU regulations, extended requirements in France and national recommendations in Germany.
Their extended experience in the field of industrial automation and innovative approach to gripper tools allows them to produce solutions for even very difficult to grip products.
Process automation in fish production with robotic application for salmon handling
Traditionally, handling of salmon sides is performed manually, which gives good results in terms of high-quality control but is usually time consuming and not optimal for the occupational health safety. A good alternative can be the introduction of process automation, where for instance lifting, packaging, and grouping are delegated to the industrial robotics. In contrast to the traditional approach, the introduction of automation initiatives facilitates a wide range of benefits that would depend on the choice of strategy and innovative technologies, respectively.
Mechanical gripper vs Vacuum suction gripper
In comparison to a mechanical gripper tool, which can be difficult to clean due to a big number of constitutional parts, the vacuum end effectors tend to have a more hygiene friendly design.
Regarding the footprint of the tool, a standard mechanical gripper will usually take a width x 1,5 to have room for the spatulas, thereby limiting the number of products on the belt, whereas the footprint of a custom vacuum EOAT will never exceed the size of a product itself. Thus, a customized tooling solution achieves better results in terms of speed and increased productivity.
Last but not least, adapting the vacuum technology can significantly increase the PPM volume as the closing/gripping time is shortened.
The case with the innovative project by Inser Robotica
Gripwiq has produced special suction grippers for the innovative solution for robotic salmon sides handling developed by Inser Robòtica. The novelty of this solution is a multi-functionality of the application, as well as the huge potential for its success in other industries.
Delta-type robots with 3D vision system have been developed to sort the whole salmon sides and deliver them safely to trays according to weight and mosaic criteria. The artificial vision allows to identify the center of each salmon and approach the product from the best position by adjusting the direction of the gripping tool.
This cutting-edge solution is a high-speed application, where quality and safety of the products are key. The products are manipulated, sorted, and grouped in an efficient and immensely reliable manner.
Special End of Arm Tooling Solution by Gripwiq
The gripper tool for handling of salmon sides has been developed with the size, weight, and density of the product in mind. The ST suction cup series was selected as the most suitable gripper type to meet the criteria for the given task. A key feature of the ST-series is the combination of a soft silicone and a rigid base unit, which facilitates stability during application and provides a firm yet soft grip.
Due to the unusual length of the product as well as its delicate structure, the shape of the suction cup imitates the shape of salmon side in the form of an elongated triangle with rounded edges.
In addition, the silicone shell is perforated at the bottom in a way that ensures proper utilization of the vacuum without damaging the product. Moreover, the special design of the suction cup, combined with the soft touch principle, allows a tight seal during gripping and secure delivery to the trays.