Robots to boost pro­duc­tion out­put

Australasian Timber - - FRAME -

GA­TOR MILLWORKS will soon un­veil a new state-of-the-art 4645m2 in­ven­tory stor­age and re­trieval sys­tem. The new, Ger­man­made au­to­mated In­tel­li­s­tore sys­tem will man­age the com­pany’s wood in­ven­tory, in­crease pro­duc­tiv­ity and make its old fork­lift op­er­a­tions ob­so­lete, says com­pany pres­i­dent Chad Fos­ter.

Wood will be moved by a large ro­botic arm out­fit­ted with suc­tion cups un­der the new sys­tem. A se­ries of rails will be at­tached to the walls of a 140m2 fenced-in area, where no work­ers can reach, for the arm to move about, Fos­ter says. The arm will carry ply­wood from the stacks to the re­ceiv­ing end of panel saws for cut­ting. There will also be des­ig­nated drop zones out­side the fence where new ma­te­ri­als will be un­loaded and placed for the sys­tem to bring in­side the fenced-in stor­age area.

Fos­ter says the sys­tem elim­i­nates the need for em­ploy­ees to over­see the in­ven­tory in the ware­house and also en­sures pieces of ply­wood needed for each work day are ready each morn­ing. It even stacks the wood so that the pieces needed first are at the top of the pile.

For ex­am­ple, if the com­pany has an or­der for a white oak shelf and the white oak ply­wood is buried be­neath a hun­dred other pieces of ply­wood, then the au­to­mated sys­tem will work overnight to move each piece of ply­wood un­til it reaches the white oak and places those pieces at the panel saw where the wood will be cut.

“So when you come in the next day for your shift, that ma­te­rial is ready to go,” Fos­ter says.

Ga­tor Millworks is a fullser­vice ar­chi­tec­tural wood­work­ing com­pany that han­dles both res­i­den­tial and com­mer­cial jobs.

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