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ROBOTIC RESOURCES

Adept System Minimizes Product Damage and Labeling Errors with Textile Handling

by Val Cureton
Adept Technology, Inc.

Problem:

As a key part of its business activities, Unifi Inc. has historically purchased a chemical-based product called multi-filament partially oriented yarn (POY) from chemical and fiber companies. POY is the raw fiber used to produce textured polyester and textured nylon yarn. There are inefficiencies associated with excessive handling of the raw POY and there is also the inherent risk of damage and/or labeling/processing errors associated with each handling operation. The raw POY packages are extremely susceptible to contamination and/or damage. Each additional handling operation increases the risk of turning good product into waste and scrap.

Solution:

The Unifi system deploys 8 AGVs to pick up completed POY packages from the spinning machines (in blocks of 3 consecutive spindles at a time) and deliver the 3-spindle blocks to one of three Adept Palletizer Robots. Each Palletizer is designed to receive the POY from the AGVs and place them into horizontal arrays on the conveyor-transported pallets (pucks) for subsequent processing. The system design utilized three Palletizers, thereby always allowing for two stations to simultaneously service the production floor, even if the third machine was taken down for maintenance, programming or upgrade. This eliminates several phases of handling minimizing product damage and labeling errors.

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