SLC gripper with 3D recognition

The new SLC gripper from MFI – powered by VisionTools

SLC gripper with VisionTools 3D camera
SLC gripper with VisionTools 3D camera
SLC gripper with VisionTools 3D camera

MFI has developed a versatile gripper for all common small load carriers (SLC) types. It can not only depalletise boxes, but also suck up cartons. The height and position of the SLCs is determined using the VisionTools TOPOchecker integrated in the gripper and the V60 image analysis software.

MFI is using three of these grippers for a major customer in the automotive industry. All common SLC formats, with different heights, are processed fully automatically after the pallet enters the depalletising station.

The SLC gripper is mounted on an industrial robot. Using a camera system integrated in the gripper (VisionTools TOPOchecker), the V60 image analysis software first determines the height and rough position of the highest SLC – regardless of its position on the pallet.

In the next step, the robot positions the SLC gripper according to the SLC size and type via the SLC to be gripped. In addition, the four gripper fingers are pre-positioned. The robot now guides the gripper into the pick-up position. The gripper fingers are closed and the SLC is lifted against a stop plate. Stably fixed, the robot lifts the SLC from the pallet and positions it in the specified position.

Fully automatic recognition of SLC sizes, SLC position and SLC gripping points

The SLC gripper developed by MFI is able to completely depalletise a freely formed pallet with different SLC sizes and SLC heights.

Optionally, the gripping system can be equipped with additional suction pads. This enables additional SLC lids to be removed and cartons with different dimensions to be depalletised. 

In very confined spaces, the MFI has the additional option of shifting the SLC in all directions under the gripper by so-called shifting, which avoids possible interfering contours.