A variety of parts, for example, pens, lighters, hand brushes, etc. generally exit the respective production machine without being sorted but need to be fed to the next processing or packing stage in a sorted sequence. The parts need to be distinguished by colour, shape, size, weight or print.
Essentially, sortronIQ encompasses a conveyor belt on which the sorting process is carried out, extremely fast linear handling and, depending on the design, two, four or more buffers that are located to the left and right of the conveyor belt.
sortronIQ comes with 3 pre-installed algorithms as standard: monochrome, specific sequence and colourful mix. In one prehension from a dual gripper, a non-conforming part is picked up from the belt and a conforming part simultaneously added from the buffer.
Following defined sorting instructions, the process sorts with as few exchange operations as possible, thereby saving time. Part characteristics that are essential to the process, such as a colour, specific shape or print are quickly registered by the recognition system and the sequence of the following parts on the conveyor belt promptly determined.
The necessary exchange operations are thereupon calculated to produce a reliable sequence that requires as few operations as possible. A prerequisite for this is that the parts arrive in a certain defined order. This enables a steady number of parts with various characteristics to be stored in the buffer while at the same time avoiding a situation where the buffer slowly fills with parts that have the same characteristic.
Quality control is inherently incorporated within to the sortronIQ sorting process. For example, before the packing units leave the machine, an additional module checks whether the sorted pattern in the respective pack is correct.
sortronIQ and the respective packing machine can be linked directly via a controller interface. This not only allows for the exchange of control and kill switch signals as required for standard operation, but also means that various sorting programs can be selected directly via the linked system. To facilitate easy conversion of sortronIQ for other parts earmarked for sorting, the part nests on the conveyor belt and in the buffers can be designed as exchange parts capable of being switched within a short space of time. The set-up time is minimal and the system can be used for a variety of parts.
sortronIQ’s modest structure and modular configuration marry fast handling of a broad range of parts with short set-up times and a high level of operator convenience.
This sorting machine constitutes an impressive automation solution for the packing and polymer processing industries, including for small batches.