Simplimatic Designs the Latest in Automated Lens Handling

For many decades Simplimatic Automation, a leading manufacturer and integrator of material handling and automation systems, has been providing the optical industry with efficient conveyor and optical tray handling systems.

Simplimatic’s line of Optitrak® and Simpli-Flex® material handling products help optical manufacturers simplify complex manufacturing challenges. To help customers remain on the cutting edge, Simplimatic has expanded its robotic automation products to serve customers in the optical industry.

The new Simplimatic® Lens Handling System was developed to automate order picking and placing for large volume optical operations. This robotic system can accommodate over 600 different SKUs (9000 lenses) and can pull product at a rate of over 420 pieces per hour. Simplimatic is a registered FANUC integrator and chose a six-axis FANUC LR Mate 200iD for this system. The LR Mate 200iD features the reach and repeatability to easily access the trays of lenses which are resting on slanted, gravity-fed shelves. The robot’s sensors rapidly read the tray’s SKUs, pick the correct tray, and place the product on nearby conveyor.

This automated system is paired with Simplimatic’s rugged Simpli-Flex® Tabletop Conveyor to provide simple line scalability to accommodate production changes. After picking, the trays are conveyed to an Optitrak™ Tray Stacker unit which is designed to stack the pulled trays for offline processing.
To ensure each piece of equipment functions as a unit the Simplimatic team used the highest-quality custom controls and system programming to seamlessly engineer the system to pick and deliver the lenses without marring. In addition, Simplimatic’s robotics are integrated with many custom error-recovery scenarios, allowing the robot to automatically restart operations after a number of possible manufacturing faults to prevent line downtime and increase throughput simultaneously.

This smart and simple Lens Handling System serves as another example of Simplimatic’s innovative solution to maximize customers’ line production, increase line reliability, and minimize worker error. The Simplimatic® Lens Handling System is planned to be integrated within the customer’s facility early 2017.