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S+P Samson and Polytec Robotics cooperate to create a robotic automated identification system for the steel industry!

05 Julio 2021

Two market leaders in their respective fields, S+P Samson and Polytec Robotics, have combined their individual strengths in a cooperation that will enable them to supply robotic systems together for identification in industrial processes. The fully automated identification system is based on the extremely robust and heat-resistant labels and tags supplied by S+P Samson and has been specially designed for the demanding ambient conditions of the steel industry, while the tried and tested robot systems are provided by Polytec Robotics.

About Polytec Robotics: Tailored systems for industrial automation

Polytec Robotics has its headquarters in the Trentino region of Northern Italy and is part of the Italian BM Group. It specialises in developing customised robotic systems and tailored solutions for industrial automation. Polytec is a leader in the global market for robotic solutions in the steel industry. The company also supplies products for the heavy, automotive and pharmaceutical industries as well as material handling. Polytec’s robotic systems can be integrated in both existing and new plants and equipment to increase reliability, quality and productivity and to get plants ready for the automation and connectivity requirements of smart technology initiatives such as Industrie 4.0.

Special requirements for identification systems in the steel industry

The steel industry is characterised by particularly difficult ambient conditions. Raw materials and components often have rough surfaces which affects the adhesion of the labels. Other factors are extreme heat and heavy soiling which means additional stress for the data carriers. In addition, time pressure in production processes is often so great that the entire identification process, i.e. applying the labels, must not take more than a few seconds.

Automated identification robot supplied by S+P Samson and Polytec Robotics

The basis of the innovative automated identification system for the steel industry are the highly robust special GRAPHIPLAST® labels and tags supplied by S+P Samson. These plastic labels and tags for the identification of products and materials are extremely resilient, oil repellent, tear-resistant, weather-resistant and can resist temperatures up to 580°C. As an added benefit, the high-tech labels and tags can be printed easily using conventional IT printing systems. The labels and tags are then attached by Polytec Robotics’ tried and tested industrial robots which have been specially adapted for identification applications.

Identification sequence:

  • To ensure that the sensitive printer technology does not get too close to the hot and dirty environment, the label or tag moves on an adjustable rail to the robotic arm in a fully automated process. Controlled by software and a laser, the arm then takes over the exact positioning on the product part.
  • Depending on the temperature of the part, the labels are then either directly attached to the part using an adhesive, or the robot arm first welds a small pin to the part which is then used to attach the tag.
  • It therefore only takes a few seconds to complete one fully automated identification operation.
  • The new, robot-based identification solution is not just suitable for the steel industry, but can easily be transferred to other sectors and areas with equally demanding requirements. A range of different and customised identification solutions can be implemented for these applications.