Robotic solution helps Boa Concept achieve highly secure package transfers
30th March 2021
French robotics company Effidence has released a package transfer solution, Convey-LINK, composed of a conveyor installed on the EffiBOT mobile robot, and a LINK communication box, integrated on the Plug-and-Carry static conveyor.
“We have created the Convey-LINK accessory for EffiBOT by focusing on securing all stages of the transfer of packages between conveyors,” comments Cedric Tessier, President of Effidence. Convey-LINK is based on a transmission technology of coded infrared signals between the mobile conveyor and the LINK box. Working with Boa Concept on a project to manage the quality control of bowls of a famous food processor, an agile and perfectly controlled solution was born. Indeed, LINK and Boa Drive communicate to align Effidence’s mobile conveyor to Boa Concept‘s conveyors and manage the positioning of the conveyed trays with an accuracy of 3mm.
As soon as the EffiBOT is docked in front of the Plug-and-Carry conveyor, a first security is activated. Convey-LINK checks whether the fixed conveyor is actually present and only deactivates the robot’s lateral light curtain that is directed towards it. This is achieved with precise alignment and transmission of a coded signal between the infrared sensors of the robot conveyor and those of the LINK box.
“With this first level of security, we guarantee that the EffiBOT’s conveyor rollers can only engage in front of a fixed conveyor table,” explains Tessier. A second security level is implemented to check the compatibility of the conveyors with each other – in terms of dimensions, roller speed and available space – through Boa Drive, which instantly informs LINK. The final level of security is the real-time synchronisation of the activation of each conveyor’s rollers. Using once again this infrared technology and Boa Drive’s ability to communicate easily with other control systems, a direct and instantaneous communication is ensured between these conveyors to provide a smooth and fast transfer of parcels.
Previously in 2019, Effidence and Boa Concept had worked together to dynamically interconnect several Plug-and-Carry intelligent modular conveyors via the use of EffiBOT mobile robots equipped with gravity conveyors (Project La Boule OBUT). Today, they collaborate once more, with this new Convey-LINK accessory for the voluminous transfer of kitchen robot bowls.
Tessier looks back on the project: “Convey-LINK kept its promises because its installation and interfacing with Plug-and-Carry was done in record time. It was fundamental for us to offer the fastest deployment possible for our customers. This philosophy is fully shared by Boa Concept.”
“With Plug-and-Carry, we offer a static intelligent modular conveyor solution that Effidence extends with EffiBOT and its mobile modular conveyor solution,” explains Patrice Henrion, Managing director of Boa Concept. “Convey-LINK appeared as an efficient, economical and unique answer to dynamically interconnect all our remote conveyors. Like all installations of the two companies, this new project demonstrates our ability to deploy custom solutions with standard equipment.”