Contact us here
Case story

MBO – Electric lifting columns and cobot-optimized print finishing processes

The level of automation in the print finishing process is continually increasing. With the help of a palletizer from MBO, it is now possible to automatically transfer paper stacks from a folding machine or a binding system onto a pallet.

Extended movement options with LINAK® lifting column LC3 in MBO CoBo-Stack

This frees the machine operator to focus on other tasks and protects the employee from physically strenuous jobs. The MBO CoBo-Stack allows the high performance of modern folding machines to be fully exploited, which was previously hard to obtain, due to the manual stacking process. Thanks to its compact design, the CoBo-Stack can be used flexibly in the print shop and quickly moved to another machine.

MBO achieves this compact design by using a cobot. To ensure stacking heights of up to 1.40 meters, the vertical position of the cobot is adjusted by an electric lifting column from LINAK® that significantly extends the cobot’s range of operation and thus its working space.


High stability and bending moment

An essential prerequisite for expanding the cobot’s range of operation is the stability of the lifting column. The LINAK lifting column LC3 comes with high bending moments, and the cobot is securely mounted onto a 3-stage column, which also offers high stability during rapid movements of the robot arm. In addition to the 3-stage column, LINAK also offers a 2-stage version.

The 2-stage version differs from the 3-stage primarily due to the higher bending moments. Otherwise, the technical data is almost identical. The column offers a force of 4,000 Newtons, both in push and pull, at a speed of 19 millimeters per second.

LINAK® lifting column LC3 built into MBO CoBo-Stack

The maximum stroke length of the column is 700 millimeters. The column used in the MBO CoBo-Stack has a stroke length of 500 millimeters.


Ease of use all the way

The lifting column, the cobot, and the supply system of the CoBo-Stack must communicate with each other. The command for running the column is transmitted to the control unit via an external operating panel. The motor control unit TR-EM-208 is designed for operation with a single actuator. In addition to the main function of the control – to raise or lower the column – there is also the option of soft start and stop of the lifting column in case of overload. LINAK also offers a column with built-in control. With a maximum load of 1,000 Newtons, it travels up to 100 millimeters per second.

The simple operation and configuration of the CoBo-Stack was particularly important for MBO.

"We have created our own software for this purpose, which allows user-friendly settings for the respective job," says Sebastian König, Head of Development at MBO.

Using a touch panel, the machine operator enters information such as pallet size, paper format, and the desired deposit height. Different stacking patterns can be easily selected. From there, everything runs automatically, so the machine operator can focus on other tasks while the CoBo-Stack picks up the paper stacks from a folding machine or other machinery, and places them on one or two pallets. The gripper arm weighs the first stack that is picked up and a camera detects the free positions and passes this information on to the control unit.

The main advantage of the MBO solution is the flexibility and space-saving dimensions of the device. The CoBo-Stack is mounted onto rollers. It can be moved around quickly in the print shop and can be easily attached to another machine.

“Depending on the distance, this takes about 10 minutes and then you can continue to work,” explains Sebastian König.

Since the CoBo-Stack is a collaborative robot – i.e., a robot that performs its work in the vicinity of people – additional protection, such as a protective cage, is not necessary. Thanks to touch-sensitive safety measures, working even at a short distance from the robot is completely safe.

LINAK® lifting column LC3 extends the movement of MBO’s CoBo-Stack 

Combining an electric lifting column with a cobot has proven to be the ideal solution for MBO. A cobot can be expanded even further with the addition of a LINAK lifting column.

“Our customers are enthusiastic about this solution and its success has proved us right,” says Katja Haug, Marketing Manager at MBO.

Learn more about how we extend the reach of a cobot palletizer .

Got a question?

- Our team is ready to assist you with technical information, starting a project and more.

Contact now