June 13 2024

For whom the RT100/RLT100 clamp carrier units are intended for?

Are you an owner, production manager or a project manager of a manufacturing facility producing panels, doors, cabinet doors or staircases and are looking for a way to optimize production? The Robotic Operator model RT100 may be the solution you are looking for!


But before proceeding with such a purchase, you'll want to verify several things. You want to know more about the product and its features, the potential performance of the equipment and the return on the investment. You may also want to know the acquisition cost, as well as any other expenses that might be tied to the purchase and the operation of the unit.


I am Mario Asselin, technical director at Doucet. Throughout my long career, I have worked with many manufacturers to evaluate their needs and to develop custom solutions to optimize their operations. For several years now, I have been specialized in the field of automated gluing systems, pushing the technology further to put it at the benefit of the manufacturers.


The purpose of this paper is to introduce the features of the RT100 single robotic operator (robotic tightening and loosening with the same unit) and the RLT100 double robotic operator (robotic tightening and loosening with two separate units), so you can decide if this type of product is right for you or if you should opt for another solution.



Table of contents



1) For whom the robotic tightening and loosening clamp carrier are for?

The automated tightening/loosening equipment has been especially developed for wood panels, doors, cabinet doors and staircase manufacturing businesses. They fit efficiently in production lines that require the gluing of parts or sections in order to obtain a finished product.


Businesses who will most benefit from the RT100 or RLT100 are those looking for solutions to automate gluing operations, particularly in a labor shortage context. This clamping and release system will significantly reduce handling, allowing the workers to devote their time to other tasks, in addition to considerably reduce the amount of specialization and physical effort needed for certain jobs.


This equipment can add value to jobs by removing the need for repeated tasks and by making them easier to perform. They provide significant gains in productivity by allowing for faster production with less staff. The RT100 and RLT100 units have been recognized as a must in their field. In fact, nearly all businesses that require panel gluing buy one of these three units, depending on their specific needs.


This equipment is designed to be operated with the SRX hydraulic clamp carrier SRX.


Given the size of the investment, businesses with medium to high panel volumes will see an attractive return on investment. Businesses with occasional needs will benefit from other, less expensive solutions. 



2) Features of the equipment


The RT100 robotic operator unit significantly increases the gluing process productivity and reduces the operating cost by providing a regular, repetitive, and constant cycle time. It reduces the necessary manual efforts, as well as repetitive and routine tasks, thus adding value for the worker.


Currently, it's the fastest and the most technologically advanced on the market. It is designed to retrofit into an existing Doucet clamp carrier or to integrate with a new SRX model hydraulic clamp carrier system. To find out more about the possible options, specific features, and specifications, please see the technical data sheet.


The RT100 is Doucet's best selling tightening/loosening unit.



The RLT100 twin robotic operator is designed for high volume applications with one robot tightening the clamp while a second robot is loosening the next row of clamps to be unloaded. Its technical data sheet can be consulted here.


The RLT100 is the fastest and most efficient unit. It allows you to produce a larger volume of panels with a minimal involvement of the human resources of the business. It is quicker than a crew of operators.


3) Advantages and disadvantages of the RT100 and the RLT100





4) Which are the main questions the customer has during the purchasing process?

Based on the testimonies of clients who use these types of units, the RT100 increases the productivity by an estimated 15-20% while the RLT100 can improve the productivity by 20-30%.


The modular design allows the RT100 and RLT100 units to be added to a Doucet SRX model only.

For some clients, it has even been advantageous to sell their current gluing machine on the used market and then buy the SRX and the RT100, thus allowing considerable gains in productivity.


The equipment is user-friendly and has been designed to be used with a minimum of training. They are accessible to all the workers in the business.



5) What are the main differences between the Doucet robots and the competition ones?

The RT100, RL100 and RLT100 units are the fastest and most technologically advanced on the market. They also operate on the SRX, which is known to be the industry's most durable clamp carrier system.


These robots can be used to further automate a plant's facilities, as they can be combined with ALYX's automatic loader or AGS's automatic gluing system. These equipment have no comparable on the market.


There is one similar product currently on the market, manufactured in the United States. Unlike that product, the Doucet clamping robots have an integrated pre-clamping mode, avoiding the necessity to do it manually prior to activating the automated sequence. The RT100 also offers greater reliability than its competitors on clamp positioning by using a rack and pinion mechanism as opposed to a traditional chain mechanism which requires constant maintenance to achieve minimum reliability. 


The panel flattener is a single blade applying hold down pressure over the center of the clamp compared to two blades on each side of the clamp for the competition products. This results into a more efficient flattening of boards during the clamping process to be more productive in the following steps of operation like sanding or planning of panels after the glue is dry.


6) Which factors influence the total cost of the tightening/loosening units?

The main factor that impacts the price of the RT100 or RLT100 units is related to the anticipated production level. The more the unit can produce additional panels with no or fewer workers, the faster the return on the investment will be.


Concretely, the price of the RT100 and RLT100 models will vary. The equipment width depending on the longest material to be glued, as well as adding options like automatic clamp pre-opening and features like clamping sequences, two pressures pre-settings and automatic pressure adjustment, will also impact the price of the equipment.


It is hard to be precise about the cost of acquisition since there are multiple possible configurations.


For instance, the following example shows the difference in the cost of an SRX with no RT100 and an SRX with RT100 or RLT100.


This implies that adding a RT100 to the SRX means an extra $45,000 to $60,000 in investment. For the addition of an RLT100, the additional cost ranges between $100,000 and $150,000.

It is important to mention that adding a robot allows a faster work than the one done manually. In addition, the operator can do other tasks, such as apply glue to the following load, while the robot is performing the clamping task.


The return on the investment in adding a RT100 or RLT100 can be measured in productivity and operator efficiency.


By being conservative in the estimation, we can believe that RT100 increase the productivity of 15 to 20% while RLT100 can improve the productivity of 20 to 30%.

There are also expenses related to the installation and the delivery of the equipment, and maintenance fees. However, these units require minimal maintenance, as they are of a simple and durable design.



The low number of comparable equipment on the market and its easy compatibility with SRX clamp carrier makes the RT100 and RLT100 automated tightening/loosening units an essential solution for any wood panel manufacturer with a sufficient production volume to ensure an interesting return on their investment.


In a labor shortage context, it is crucial for manufacturers to invest in the automation of their installations and the optimization of their gluing process. This equipment is a direct response to this situation as they allow them to produce more quickly and with less manpower.


The automated tightening/loosening units significantly reduce the handling of parts, thus considerably decreasing the physical effort required for production. This results in value-added workstations and less specialization and repetitive tasks.


Before making a purchase, businesses should analyze their current situation and select the model and options best suited to their reality. In addition to the clamping/unclamping unit, the specialist will also be able to provide you with the best possible solution at the best possible price, thus maximizing your return on investment.  The specialist will also be able to provide a precise diagnostic of the operation of your system and to suggest ways to optimize your performance.


For more information on the RT100 and RLT100 or any other Doucet equipment, contact us :

Mario Asselin
Mario Asselin
Project Manager