Automated brick production line provides greater efficiency

ABB Australia Pty Ltd
Wednesday, 26 September, 2012

ABB has delivered four IRB 660 palletising robots to the Datong Coal Mine Group, China, to be used in the Tashan coal mine. Supported by brick machinery components from Shandong GONGLI, the ABB robots will play a key role in producing bricks primarily for adobe palletising.

This application is claimed to be the first of its kind in China, making it a model in the National Circular Economy initiative. The Chinese ‘circular economy’ initiative is a Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) program that strives to meet these challenges through cleaner production, industrial ecology and lifecycle management. The palletising application within the coal industry is setting an example to China’s brick production industry to explore alternate sustainable production models.

In the process of coal mining, the extraction process produces waste materials and rock. This waste is then re-used by coal mines to make bricks. Four ABB IRB 660 robots have been applied to the brick production lines of Tashan coal mine. They are responsible for palletising the adobe and putting it into the brick kiln, a task that had previously been handled by manual workers.

Dr Chun-yuan Gu, Head of Discrete Automation and Motion division, ABB North Asia and China, said, “ABB closely cooperates with its Chinese customers to provide customised robotics solutions to address local demands. We are happy to supply China’s first adobe palletising robotic solution to Datong Coal Mine Group. The solution will fill the gap in China and create a good model for other similar applications in the industry.”

After introducing the ABB robots, the palletising accuracy has greatly improved. The orderly placement of adobes in the brick kiln has been ensured, increasing product quality. It allows the flexibility to change the types of bricks, the production pace, product code and the kiln. In addition, ABB robots can operate in high temperatures and harsh environments.

The ABB IRB 660 is well-suited for material handling and palletising. With a payload of up to 250 kg, this 4-axis robot has a reach of 3.15 m. A single IRB 660 unit equals and is claimed to deliver over 30% more operational precision compared to the industry average.

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