Installation of a Hawk robot as part of a packaging project at Fonterra’s Takanini plant means rml Engineering has sold six of the 2-axis pick and place robots, earning the company $6 million last year.
The Hawk project initially started off as a research and development exercise in partnership with Victoria University and the Ministry of Science and Innovation. The knowledge and tools gained from that research led to the in-house development of the Hawk robot by rml’s automation and design divisions.
The Hawk has many attractive features for use in product handling. The configuration of the robot arms allow for high speed and accurate movements while maintaining a small footprint – ideal for packaging applications.
The design allows for easy scaling of the robot’s dimensions. rml has developed optimisation software to find ideal dimensions for a given pick-and-place application, allowing the Hawk to be tailored to customers’ requirements.
The Hawk’s control is handled using software based on the Rockwell kinematic engine. It has outperformed rml’s expectations in testing and production.
The Hawk can achieve 46 cycles/min of a 90/400/90mm path with a 10kg load and 31 cycles/min with a 35kg load. It has a tool speed exceeding 3.5m/s.
The Hawk got its name from a staff member who came up with a ‘bird of prey’ theme reflecting the motion and look of the robot.