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A reconfigurable robotic folding system for confectionery industry

Yao, Wei and Dai, Jian and Medland, Tony and Mullineux, Glen (2010) A reconfigurable robotic folding system for confectionery industry. Industrial Robot: An International Journal, 37 (6). pp. 542-551. ISSN 0143-991X

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Abstract

This paper aims to investigate reconfigurable technology using robotic technology for folding carton in confectionery industry. Based on the analysis of common motion and manipulation, modules such as robotic fingers and robotic folders are explored and designed. A robotic system is then constructed by arranging those modules for diverse cartons. A prototyped test rig shows the adaptability of the robotic system. The reconfigurability of the robotic system is realized and verified by experiments and an industrial demonstrator. This research leads to the development of a demonstrator, manufactured and controlled by industries, to further commercial exploitation of this robotic system. It has been applied in a strict industry environment for a chocolate manufacturer. This robotic system applied successfully the theory of reconfigurability by using modularity in packaging systems into confectionery industry.