3 Custom Robotic Solutions That Are Elevating the Wood Products Industry

PRE-TEC Wood Products Automated Solutions

PRE-TEC’s Turnkey Material Handling Solutions are on the Forefront of Automation.

PRE-TEC, a division of the Willamette Valley Company, is a robotic systems integrator specializing in turnkey material handling solutions. As one of the largest integrators on the West Coast, the company has designed and installed hundreds of flexible automated systems using six-axis robots. For this post, we’re spotlighting some of PRE-TEC’s custom robotic solutions created for the wood products industry. 

Much of PRE-TEC’s success can be attributed to the company’s determination to produce innovative, custom solutions designed specifically for their customer’s production needs. Their automated systems combine multi-axis robot arms, custom end-of-arm tooling, and safety hardware to address, resolve and optimize the most challenging manufacturing applications. Technicians focus primarily on key applications, specifically dispensing, material handling (load/unload functions), material finishing (deburring, polishing), and wood product applications (painting, tagging, and wrapping).

Here are three automated solutions developed by PRE-TEC that are elevating the wood products industry. 

#1 PRE-TEC’s ROBOTIC SPRAY BOOTH
PRE-TEC was the first in North America to employ robotic automation in a wood products spray application system. Now in its sixth generation, the Robotic Spray Booth reduces waste and keeps mill interiors cleaner by using targeted sealer placement and advanced airflow management techniques. One of our favorite features of PRE-TEC’s state-of-the-art Robotic Spray Booth is the remote access monitoring option – this means faster service and fewer on-site visits to perform diagnostics and troubleshooting! Learn how this six-axis robotic system streamlines throughput with increased paint transfer efficiency. 

BENEFITS » Advanced spray gun technology provides consistent coverage and appearance while reducing waste » Four-stage filtration allows air to be safely released into the plant (no roof penetration required) » Negative air pressure inside the booth results in better containment and a cleaner mill environment » Tip access door lets operators service spray guns without entering the containment booth » Filter media location permits easy access by operators » Remote Access Monitoring option reduces the need for on-site visits to perform diagnostics and troubleshooting.

Learn more by downloading PRE-TEC’s Robotic Spray Booth Spec Sheet.

#2 PRE- TEC’s ALL-IN-ONE STENCIL/STRIPER SYSTEM
Pre-Tec’s Stencil /Striper system is an all-in-one system that stencils your products with your logo, and provides end-stripping identification for your products. The system will accommodate up to three colors and allows producers to quickly change markings, stripes and text, increasing throughput and debottleneck operations. It features a six-axis FANUC robot with a custom end-of-arm tool with a marking head and a spray gun to print logos and product information or apply striping.

BENEFITS » Clear, sharp logo images » Precise product identification » Better paint management » Two functions in one system » Potential for increased through-put 

Download PRE-TEC’s Stencil/Striper System Spec Sheet to learn more. 

#3 PRE-TEC’s ROBOTIC CARDBOARD APPLICATOR SYSTEM
PRE-TEC’s Robotic Cardboard Applicator System uses a six-axis, industrial robotic arm that uses multiple end-of-arm tools to automatically singulate, apply and secure cardboard protector sheets to the sides of OSB or plywood panel stacks. In addition to singulating cardboard, this system performs various tasks, such as folding and stapling. The flexibility and accuracy of the robotic arm allows programming of precise staple patterns and consistent cardboard placement for repeatable results on every load. 

BENEFITS» Reduces workplace injuries by automating a dangerous, manual task. » Requires minimal tending, allowing personnel to be utilized elsewhere for more efficient use of labor. » Increases throughput and offers the potential for 24/7 operation. Learn more by downloading PRE-TEC’s Robotic Cardboard Applicator Spec Sheet.

Please visit www.wilvaco.com to learn more about WVCO’s other divisions.

MORE ABOUT PRE-TEC
PRE-TEC Enhances Robotic Weld Cell Automation With FASWeld Standard Robotic Weld Cells

How WVCO’s PRE-TEC Division Partners Through Service

Benefits of Industrial Automation Demonstrated in PRE-TEC Video

PRE-TEC Introduces New Fanuc SCARA Robot Line

Proud to Be An Exclusive FANUC Authorized System Integrator

 

Proud to Be An Exclusive FANUC Authorized System Integrator

PRE-TEC Exclusive FANUC Authorized System Integrator

FANUC, a global leader in automation for manufacturing, is home to the industry’s largest and most trusted network of industrial robot system integrators. PRE-TEC, a division of the Willamette Valley Company, is part of this elite group of robotic system integrators, known as the FANUC Authorized System Integrator (ASI) Network for automation systems. 

PRE-TEC has been designing and building Flexible Automated Solutions using six-axis robots as the cornerstone of its turn-key systems for more than thirty years. By focusing on producing solutions that are designed around the customer’s specific production needs like dispensing, material handling (load/unload functions), material finishing (deburring, polishing), and wood product applications (painting, tagging, and wrapping), PRE-TEC has evolved into FANUC’s largest integrator in the Western United States.

Take a look at this Robotic Spray Booth System, the first of its kind in North America. Using PRE-TEC’s previously proven components in conjunction with a six-axis robotic arm, the booths have greatly increased paint transfer efficiency and dispensing system reliability.

Being an exclusive FANUC Authorized System Integrator has also enabled the company to produce game-changing turnkey material handling solutions like their FASWeld Standard Robotic Weld Cells.

Take a look at PRE-TEC’s FASWeld 1 which integrates the FANUC ARC Mate 100iD 6-axis robot, FANUC R-30iB+ Robot Controller with Touch Pad iPendant and FANUC ARCtool software. FASWeld 1 is ideal for companies new to automation that want to develop their in-house robotic welding abilities. 

Our PRE-TEC division is ready to analyze your system requirements and provide a robotic solution that will improve quality, throughput, and productivity to give you the return on investment you are looking for. Our systems combine multi-axis robot arms, custom end-of-arm tooling, conveyance systems, and safety hardware to address, resolve and optimize the most challenging manufacturing applications. Click here to get in touch with one of their engineers today! 

Advances in Industrial Robotics and Automation on the Rise


The concept of utilizing industrial robotics in mass production is nothing new. In fact, the use of robotics and automation go back to the 1970s as industries wanted to find new ways to increase product quality and productivity without increasing costs. In the 1990s, a group of innovative, take-charge individuals at Willamette Valley Company saw the benefits of industrial automation for metering chemical products and launched our robotics division. This division was later named “PRE-TEC” in 2009.

As mass production evolves and grows, our PRE-TEC engineers understand that the use of industrial robots is a cost-effective way to produce higher quality products and increase productivity. Our team of engineers and scientists work closely with our industry partners to contribute innovative ideas and stay ahead of the curve when it comes to advances in the robotics field.

Our robotics partner, Robotic Industries Association (RIA), believes that the use industrial automation equipment is significantly on the rise. As the technology develops, it is estimated that the number of industrial automation and robots deployed worldwide will go up to 2.6 million units by 2019.

There have been numerous exciting advances made in industrial robotics over the years. One example is the use of Vision-Guided Robot (VGR) Systems. VGR robots, robotic systems fitted with vision sensors, are able to work for longer periods of time with a high level of speed and reliability. VGR systems not only surpass the use of traditional “blind” robots, they are highly adaptable and easy to implement.

“Flexibility is a key driver of ROI in robotics,” says RIA in this article. “3D vision capabilities have allowed robots to complete more than one task without reprogramming, as well as the ability to account for unforeseen variables in work environments. Further, 3D vision allows a robot to recognize what’s in front of it, to a certain extent, and react accordingly.”

By automating tasks that previously were done manually, 3D vision-guided robots are revolutionizing mass production. Using 3D smart sensors with onboard software, an industrial robot can perform tasks like “Pick and Place”, the action of automatically sensing and picking up the correct parts and placing them in the desired order and location. This function, something that could previously only be done by a skilled worker, was once a challenge for robots, but it is now a common practice in the day-to-day operations in most factories.

To learn more about 3D Smart Sensors in Vision-Guided Robotic Systems, click here.

PRE-TEC's New Fanuc SCARA Robot Line

PRE-TEC’s New Fanuc SCARA Robot Line

Another exciting advance in industrial robotics technology is the ability for robots to work in a more efficient and compact workspace. PRE-TEC’s new Fanuc SCARA robot line is the new standard for precision high-speed picking and tracking. Equipped with a 360-degree radius work envelope, work can be completed behind the SCARA robot with a compact inner radius that leaves more workstations around the machine for additional efficiencies. Click here to learn more about the Fanuc SCARA robot line.

About PRE-TEC
The PRE-TEC division of Willamette Valley Company is currently the largest custom robotic integrator on the West Coast having installed systems throughout North America. PRE-TEC offers support in areas of training, programming, spare parts, and preventive maintenance. Please visit www.wilvaco.com to learn more about WVCO’s other divisions.

How Does a Robotic Wood Wrapping Machine Work?

PRE-TEC FANUC Robotics

Originally posted on www.fanucamerica.com

Wood manufacturers are discovering that industrial robots are ideal for the hazardous work environments they encounter in the woodworking industry. In this application video, PRE-TEC (a division of Willamette Valley Company) has implemented an automated wood wrapping system in which four FANUC robots apply protective wrapping, end sealant, and label to I-Joist Beams or Stacked Laminated Veneer Lumber. This system can automatically apply protective wrapping for multiple length, width and height units on the fly by calculating the load dimensions.

This system utilizes one FANUC M-710iC/70 robot, two M-16iB/10L robots, and one M-20iA/10L robot to complete the process. The FANUC robots transfer each piece, accurately measure and stretch the wrapping to match the piece size, apply the sealant, and stack the wood for distribution. The beams are measured continuously on the carousel to be sure the correct size wrapping is loaded.

The robots then wrap and staple the wood automatically. In this system, robots replaced an operation that presented stapling hazards as well as those that come with handling large pieces of engineered wood products. In addition to removing stapling and handling hazards, PRE-TEC says that this robotically automated process has made their system much more efficient. To learn more about this robotic wrap applicator system, please visit PRE-TEC’s website at http://www.pre-tec.com/custom-robotics.

Follow the link to learn more about our full line of Wrapping & Material Handling Robots.

WVCO’s PRE-TEC Division Partners with Fanuc to Integrate ‘The Big Robot’

Large Robots

Standing with M2000iA

WVCO’s PRE-TEC Division team are some of the brightest minds in the industry. Since the mid 1990s, this team has successfully created more than 220 robotic systems and is currently FANUC’s largest custom robotic Integrator on the West Coast.

Much of the success of our robotics division has been made possible by partnering with leading edge companies like the FANUC America Corporation to develop automated manufacturing solutions using six axis robots and other precision equipment gor customers all over the world.

Recently, this team delved into a BIG project. We mean REALLY big.

Meet M2000iA, FANUC’s largest robot available in the North American market. This beast of a robot is offered with a 900Kg (2,094lbs) capacity or 1350Kg (2,976lbs) capacity- in other words, it can handle enormous objects like car & truck bodies, and very large castings. Our PRE-TEC team has proudly partnered once again with FANUC to integrate this huge robot for a customer here in the Northwest.

It takes a very innovative company like FANUC to supply us with the broad range of robots and servo drives we need to build the flexible automated solutions that integrate the multi-axis robot arms, with end-of-arm tooling, conveyance systems, and safety hardware.

With headquarters in Rochester Hills, Michigan, FANUC America Corporation produces software, controls, and vision products that aid in the development of robotic systems. Their technologies help manufacturers like us maximize efficiency, reliability and profitability.

To get an idea of their extensive capabilities, just watch this video where they demonstrate four FANUC Arc Mate 100iC robots welding an automotive trailer hitch:

For more information about the FANUC America Corporation, visit www.fanucamerica.com.

PRE-TEC designs and builds automated solutions for challenging manufacturing applications, and support all projects with training, spare parts, and preventive maintenance programs. Download our company overview for contact information and to learn more: Please visit www.wilvaco.com to learn more about WVCO’s other divisions.

Click here to download more info on M2000iA

WVCO Supplier Spotlight: FANUC America Corporation

Through the years, WVCO’s longstanding industry leadership has allowed us to forge important partnerships and work with leading-edge companies to better serve our customers.

Companies such as FANUC America Corporation, one of the suppliers for our PRE-TEC division, gives us even better access to the latest technologies, methodologies, and resources. Our partnership with them is so valuable to us, we thought it would be beneficial to to share a little more about them with our followers.

It takes an extremely innovative company to supply us with the materials we need to build our custom and pre-engineered robotics such as multi-axis robot arms, end-of-arm tooling, conveyance systems, and safety hardware.

With headquarters in Rochester Hills, Michigan, FANUC America Corporation produces software, controls, and vision products that aid in the development of robotic systems. Their technologies help manufacturers like us maximize efficiency, reliability and profitability.

Their parent company, FANUC Corporation, was named the 26th most innovative company in the world, and the sixth top ranked innovator in Asia by Forbes in 2013. This is the third consecutive year Forbes has named FANUC a top global innovator.

To get an idea of their extensive capabilities, just watch this video where they demonstrate four FANUC Arc Mate 100iC robots welding an automotive trailer hitch:

For more information about FANUC America Corporation visit www.fanucamerica.com.