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Innovative, fully automated solution for Paver Block Offline Stacking

HomeSuccess StoryInnovative, fully automated solution for Paver Block Offline Stacking

Success Story

Handling of finished concrete Paver Blocks on the packing line poses several challenges. The dried concrete blocks are presented on the conveyor and need to be picked and stacked in layers in the stores for final packing and dispatch.
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Reduced cycle time and labor costs in paver block handling

A Pune based large infrastructure conglomerate manufactured variety of concrete products. Paver Blocks being one of the fastest growing line, the company had already invested in material handling conveyors to ensure easy and efficient movement of blocks for most of the tedious tasks in its manufacturing. However, the packaging line was proving to be a major bottleneck.

Challenge

The company was looking to automate the task which involved moving of finished Paver Blocks presented on the conveyors from the drying chamber to the FG store area. After studying the site condition and requirement Fine Handling design team suggested Automatic ElbowLIFTTM with a pneumatic gripper which could clamp the paver blocks with its high compression force.

Process

  • At a time 16 Paver blocks in a layer, with gaps maintained for drying
  • Clamp all the blocks using 4 jaws of the pneumatic gripper and lift 
them from the conveyor
  • Place the blocks on a Pallet and de-clamp (1 layer of the paver blocks)
  • Repeat the process up to 19 times to build a stack of up to 20 levels
  • The Paver Blocks are then strapped and the pallet is moved for final dispatch, as required, using a forklift

Challenges and innovations

Variants and weight

There were Seven different types of paver blocks. The sizes ranged from 4”x 4” to 8”x 8” and Pavers blocks also varied in shape. The weights of the blocks ranged from from 60 kg to 120 kg. Weight carrying capacity given to system was 200 kg.

A single gripper was developed to ensure safe and efficient handling of the blocks of different shapes, sizes and weight. The pneumatically operated gripper had 4 jaws to clamp and lift the paver blocks. Additionally, 900 rotation functionality was included for zigzag shaped paver blocks.

When it comes to lifting things, the coefficient of friction is very important. Here coefficient of friction was kept high, which ensured that paver blocks remain intact, without falling, even when the weight is high or contact area between the gripper and paver blocks is relatively less.

Various heights while placing the stack on the conveyor

Pavers are to be stacked in 20 layers on the conveyor. To achieve this 20 proximity sensors were provided to sense 20 different heights and levels. Also limit switches were provided for the telescopic movement of the gripper.

Ensuring highest safety for the Operators and equipment

Limit switches were provided to avoid over-travel of the System during the operation to ensure highest safety for the operator and the equipment.

Benefits

Earlier the manual process required a minimum of 5 labours and at least 20-30 mins to complete the operation. After installation of the ElbowLIFTTM, the entire task is performed automatically in less than 5 minutes. Additional benefits of the solution included safer operations, lesser product wastage due to damage, lower operational complexity and significantly higher throughput.

Up to 80% reduction in Labor required for the task.

Up to 90% savings in cycle time, as compared to manual handling

Fine Handling
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