Paints, varnishes and pigments and powders feeding. SmartPick a revolutionary solution

F.lli Sacchi , working since 1926 in manufacturing of conveying, dosing, mixing, storing, bagging and palletising system for granular and powdered bulk materials, has developed a wide range of innovative solutions for paints, varnishes, pigments, ready mixes and plasters. Granular and powdered raw materials are usually available in 25 and 50 Kg. bags, and until today it was impossible to think about fully automatic feeding of reactors and mixers. The new Smart Pick system, covered by several patents, can solve problem linked to picking from pallet, cutting and automatic emptying of paper, plastic, raffia, jute and aluminium bags, as well as drums and boxes. SmartPick is an anthropomorphic robot, equipped with a special gripping system, that can pick the bags from pallets placed on roller conveyors or fixed positions in automatic sequence, cut and empty them through “Smart Cut” device; package is then automatically disposed and compacted. The final product is conveyed to production systems (reactors, mixers, turbo mixer and extruders) thanks to AIRPOWDER, our exclusive pneumatic conveying, fed by line compressed air, optimised for non-free-flowing and not free-flowing powders. SmartPick allows to greatly change factory layout, by centralising products cutting process in a separate area, products are then pneumatically conveyed to reactors, positioned even at hundred of meters away. This approach complies with ATEX requirements: risk associated to cutting and emptying of bags containing products potentially explosive, is confined to a restricted area, often appositely built, on the outside of main buildings. System does not require operators with specific skills, an easy graphical interface helps the user during start phases of new productions in simple and intuitive way. Product change, even for small batches, is nearly immediate. Adoption of optional measuring and computer vision systems (AdvancedTouch, SmartGlance e SmartGlance GT) makes the process easier. This system is born to be interfaced with area PLC, DCS, SAP and other company management system, in order to receive and process orders and recipes. In particular, option SmartMix allows, according to the received recipe, to pick bags necessary to finish the batch from more pallets. SmartPick together with SmartDispense system allows to dose product quantity as portions of bag volume. Using an integrated weighing system allows to check product quantity introduced into process. Pallets transport and removal from robot area can be automatised resorting to automatic storing systems or to shuttle automatically driven by AGV. Reading of the bar code or RFID tag placed on pallet or on bag, can solve the problems about batch traceability. Furthermore, SmartPick use allows to ride out the longstanding matter about extruders and reactors feeding when they are at more than 2 meters from ground. By resorting to anthropomorphic robots with wide operating range, it’s possible to pick bags from ground, cut and empty them into overhead hopper, directly connected to process equipments. Particular attention has been paid to payback analysis of the system. In most industrial sectors, payback/return of investment is estimated to be achieved in less than 18 months. When cutting process is distributed on three shifts, payback is reduced to less than one year. SmartPick complies with requirements of latest regulation about safety in working environment ((Testo unico 81/08), by eliminating the risk associated with loads repetitive handling (D.Lgs 81/08 attachment XXXIII technical regulations ISO11228).

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