100% Employee Owned, Founded 1954

855.889.0092

100% Employee Owned, Founded 1954

855.889.0092

100% Employee Owned, Founded 1954

855.889.0092

How to Create an Indexing Conveyor in Actin

Brant Bullister | October 13th, 2016

These 3 videos will take the user through a process for creating an indexing conveyor inside Actin. These videos are not intended for providing specifications and therefore Cross Company is not responsible for any specifications derived from these videos or the model created during this process. This is designed for the intermediate level Actin user. The Actin user should be familiar with basic features of Actin and basic navigation of the program. We have used a Universal Robot , who is a leader in collaborative robotics (cobots), in this model.

Physical Construction

  1. Open the .ecv file with the preferred Universal Robots (UR) model.
  2. Use the Save As operation to save the file under the preferred name and in the preferred location. This is the master file that all work will be done in.
  3. Merge the Parker T3D Linear Rail into the file. Make sure the T3D Linear Rail’s path is parallel to that of the path of the conveyor. The location is not critical other than keeping the rail close to the path of the conveyor in the case that debugging is necessary.
  4. Merge the conveyor file into the master file and place in the preferred location. Keep in mind that the T3D Linear Rail should run parallel to the path of the conveyor.
  5. If it is not already so, rotate the linear rail so that the end of the rail where the shuttle is at 0 position is on the entry side of the conveyor. This is to establish a convention that as the shuttle moves in the positive direction, items move down the conveyor. This will make more sense later.
  6. Lastly, merge the object to be conveyed into the master file and place it wherever the preferred location is for it to start on the conveyor. Do not forget to edit the collision exclusions to allow for your product to travel down the conveyor. The T3D Linear Rail is only there to use its functionality and can be ignored as a physical object altogether.

Manipulation Director

  1. Begin setting up the manipulation director by adding the poses that the UR will go through when picking the conveyed items from the conveyor. Do so by placing the object to be conveyed into its final position, position the robot. Keep in mind that there will only be one axis that will be moved since this is a single-axis linear conveyor. Continued in next step.
  2. Move the UR into the pick position and record it as a pose labeled “Pick”. Then, move the UR to the position where the item is to be placed and record the position as “Place”. Return the item to be conveyed to the start point on the conveyor.
  3. Now, set the indexing length of the conveyor by moving to the directions tab and click on the jointFrameSequence button. Under the Joint Values tab, select the T3D-1 for the Joint, Type will be relative, and the Value is the length to index the conveyor. Rename this direction to “Index.”
  4. Now create an attachment direction by clicking on the “Attach to Direction” button. This will attach the conveying item to the TD3 Linear Rail to create the indexing conveyor motion. Select the Active Role as the conveying item, select Attach in the drop down box. Base Role should be the T3D and Base Link is T3D-1.
  5. Follow the same process as the previous step but create an attach and detach function for the item to the UR.
    1. **Note that any attachment directions override previous attachment directions so there is no need to create a direction to detach from the TD3 Rail as the attachment to the UR direction will override the older detachment.
  6. Create a new direction by selecting the wapointSequence button. Add the “Place” pose that was created earlier by dragging to the middle box. Repeat this process for the “Pick” pose in order to be able to move the UR back to the pick point.
  7. Create a new scene and label it “Conveyor”. Choose the UR10, T3D, and the conveying item as the actors in the scene. The conveyor can now be set up by using the attach direction to attach the conveying item to the rail, move the rail the previously specified distance and repeat until it reaches its end point. The item can then be attached to the UR and the UR can be moved to its place point and drop off the item. See a picture of the following scene to see setup order.
  8. Put this Scene into a Script to run it.

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