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How 30 Fanuc robots and Pickit systems optimise internal transportation at GKN

GKN is a global tier one automotive supplier dedicated to delivering mass production solutions for mobility. More than 50% of the 81 million new cars sold in 2018 contained GKN automotive technology. Normally they are the one to deliver solutions - but a couple of years ago, they were looking for one. Let us tell you why - or have a look at the video below to find out yourself!

 

At GKN, specific parts of a car’s gear-box need to pass through up to fifty machines to complete the manufacturing process. This means the parts have to be transported internally from one machine to the other. The objects are either randomly thrown in a bin, or they are placed into a bin by a robot in a structured way. 

Placing the parts in the bins can be done blindly - for taking them out, however, GKN needed vision. It’s clear to see the need for 3D vision for the randomly placed parts: a blind robot simply wouldn’t be able to pick them.

However, the robots also needed eyes for picking the parts that were placed in a structured way. Why? Well, during the internal transportation, 10% of the parts would fall over or change position, disabling the robot to pick them from their initial position. 

Pickit proved to be the perfect solution to this problem. The video above shows a Fanuc robot with an integrated Pickit 3D vision system. It’s one of the 30 robots with Pickit cameras that are currently running in production at GKN. See how it also removes the layer in between parts when the first layer is picked? Genius!

Thanks to our partner Unimate for the video, and to our customer GKN for their trust!

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