Robot of the Week: 3 Years With Zero Broken Parts

This robot has been running nonstop for more than 3 years. It picks, seals, and packs poly bags containing extremely fragile graphite parts with a breakage rate less than 1%.

May 24th, 2023 1 min read

Robots excel at handling extremely delicate parts.

And, while it seems counterintuitive, the best operations to automate are often the simplest, like this packaging task at Fabritech in Fremont, CA. 

Our Rapid Machine Operator Jeanne has been running nearly nonstop on this operation at Fremont, California's Fabritech for three years. Before the RMO was deployed, human operators were sealing the bags holding fragile graphite parts, resulting in a breakage rate as high as 30%. Rapid developed a solution using the advantages offered by robotic precision and a custom gripper design. 

Jeanne moves slowly the last few millimeters down toward the bag until the gripper can establish a hold without applying any pressure to the part itself. Then, Jeanne moves the part to a heat sealer, holds it in place to avoid damaging movement during the sealing process, and then moves the sealed bag to a box. This unique process almost completely eliminated the part breakage problem, saving Fabritech significant waste over the last three years.

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