Application for automatic programming of palletizing robots

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Manuel Santos Silva
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Current market demands require several degrees of flexibility, speed, and repetitiveness of manufacture and logistic processes. Considering that a fourth industrial revolution is to be expected in a near future - which is highly based on smart machines, storage systems, and production facilities that cooperate to allow dynamic businesses and engineering processes - robotics presents itself as an increasingly sought-after solution, since it is often associated with such concepts. Hence, it is of no wonder that the worldwide operational stock of industrial robots has been increasing in a steady pace for the past decades and is expected to progress in such a trend. Within the several activities for robots on industrial applications, handling operations are regarded as predominant on the European market. Subsequently, palletizing applications are amongst the handling operations that have played an important role in the end stages of modern supply chains. In this context, this work aims to contextualise and develop an application for palletizing robots. This application, together with an off-line programming software (RobotStudio), allows for automatic programming of a robot's palletizing functions. Developed in the robot's native language (RAPID), the application has a basic user interface written in XML and can provide different pallet patterns. © 2018 IEEE.