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My situation is this : we do metal castings, and then have a huge team that "finishes" off these components by placing them individually onto a trimming tool, which trims off any flash around the edges. A VERY repititive job. They then go for further processing.
We have already (as a company) started on the route to automation, but the system we have includes a hopper system to separate the components and align them, they then slide down a chute, and are then picked up and placed into the tool. Gives us huge headaches. Also, this kind of system is designed around this particular shape component, (physically), whereas I would think that a Pick and Place system could be programmed to recognise the different components, and so would be portable between the different tools.
We produce about 250 000 per month of this particular component.