Last updateThu, 11 Aug 2022 8am

The dream team: The Wyzo sidebot combined with Piab's extremely lightweight Mini Cobot gripper (MCG)

Handling food or other small, lightweight products quickly and easily with human-machine interaction - that's exactly what the Wyzo sidebot is designed to do. With a maximum payload of one kilogram, the weight of the gripper is critical. So, what could be a better fit than Piab's featherweight, the MCG, at just 270 grams, which also impressed with its versatility and outstanding energy efficiency.

Process automation continues to advance in the food, packaging, cosmetics, pharmaceutical and electronics industries. People in these sectors often work side by side with machines. This usually precludes the use of industrial robots, while the power spectrum of cobots is not always sufficient for such high-speed, repetitive pick-and-place operations. To close this gap, the Swiss company, developed the sidebot Wyzo, which combines the advantages of a conventional delta robot with those of a cobot. Thanks to the gearless and thus oil-free motors used, the sidebots are particularly suitable for applications that require an extremely clean environment, such as the industrial sectors mentioned at the beginning.
As an extremely lightweight and space-saving robot, the Wyzo sidebot has a payload of between half a kilogram at full speed and up to one kilogram with reduced performance. In order to utilize this as fully as possible, the selection of the end effector or rather its weight is crucial. However, the MCG from Piab was not only able to convince with its light weight as Christian Vouillamoz, CTO at Wyzo explains: "For us, flexibility was also crucial. Since the sidebot can be moved effortlessly from one job site to another, we were looking for a gripper that was not only lightweight, but could also be easily retooled to handle new tasks. The multiple tooling options offered by the MCG are exactly what we needed for this. And thanks to its Quick-Click Toolchanger, the changeover is done in no time at all without any tools. We were also impressed by the ease of implementation. It took us just one hour to get the system up and running."
Bernd Gries, Head of Custom-Line Solutions at Piab adds, "At only 270 grams, the MCG is probably the lightest cobot gripper in the world. Like an ant that can carry many times its body weight, the MCG can lift up to 5 kilograms. This is made possible by producing the components using high-quality, lightweight 3-D printing. Its versatility is conveyed by the possibility of equipping it flexibly with a wide variety of suction units. The combination of pump unit with integrated COAX® vacuum ejector technology and separate grippers allows maximum flexibility. Thanks to the integrated blow-off function, high speed processes are possible."
"While we knew the Piab ejectors were energy efficient, we did not expect them to outperform previous models by a factor of eight, results that came out of our inhouse test comparisons. In the current climate of skyrocketing energy costs, this is obviously a significant advantage. We are pleased that we can not only make our customers' processes more productive, but also contribute to the careful use of resources in a double sense, in terms of the environment and in terms of the cost of system use for our customers," states Christian Vouillamoz enthusiastically and continues, "The ability to measure the vacuum pressure and flow directly on the product has great advantages and allows extremely fast response times. This is important as the Wyzo sidebot operates at 90 cycles per minute. We were also immediately convinced of the quality of the measurements."
Piab's integrated vacuum technology, COAX®, minimizes energy consumption and provides a safe and fast hold due to the high initial vacuum flow. COAX® ejectors are up to twice as fast as other ejectors and deliver three times more volume flow than conventional vacuum ejectors with identical air consumption. The ejectors can deliver high performance even under low or fluctuating supply pressure. This has been demonstrated in independent comparative tests at the Fraunhofer Institute for Machine Tools and Forming Technology IWU in Dresden. These have shown that Piab ejectors require significantly less compressed air to achieve the same performance compared to ejectors from other manufacturers. As they contain no moving parts, they are also virtually maintenance-free. Accordingly, their use reduces the cost of providing compressed air as well as downtime for maintenance intervals.
The Wyzo sidebot handles products side by side with people at high speed with its safe control system. It stops automatically on contact, and thanks to the integrated safety sensors, it only reaches full speed when at a safe distance from people. The Wyzo sidebot moves very quickly from one workstation to another. The intuitive interface makes learning new tasks easy for everyone. In no time at all, it locates products with an intelligent camera and picks them up even on moving conveyors. In addition to pick-and-place operations, it is also suitable for quality control, sortation and decoration tasks, which can be performed entirely in one step with product packaging if required.
The combination of the Wyzo sidebot and the MCG from Piab succeeds in taking robotics to a new level, towards true automation, feasible and affordable for any size of company.


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