A-B-C Packaging said its 700 series of robotic palletizers is designed to deliver the flexibility of manual palletizing with reduced costs and liability. The machines automatically accumulate and stack cases, trays, bags or shrink-wrapped multipacks in multiple configurations and pallet loads. Packagers can achieve efficient and reliable pallet-forming while utilizing less floor space and ship secure, well-formed pallet loads that protect products throughout distribution. Standard systems include a high-payload robot and appropriate product-handling devices for single- or dual-infeed and pallet-building, product transport and staging conveyors; high-visibility guarding; Allen Bradley controls; and programming for product requirements. Additional pallet patterns are easily programmed by the end user.




Apex Motion Control said it is a turnkey integrator that has specialized in robotic automation for the food industry for the past 20 years. It builds solutions ranging from case loaders to palletizers. Recently, it completed a palletizing project for a large national dairy producer. The company came to Apex Motion Control to automate the palletizing of its 1-gallon milk jugs, including jug inspection, pallet-dispensing and stretch-wrapping of the final pallet. Apex Motion Control is successfully palletizing up to 100 jugs per minute every day for the company now.




BluePrint Automation (BPA) said its Spider 300v is a two-robot case-loading system with vision, allowing processors and co-packers to pack both vertically and horizontally on the same line at the same time. Built for quick changeover between recipes, the Spider 300v is capable of handling standard regular slotted container cases, three-sided displays and a wide range of other secondary containers. It is ideal for packaging bags, pouches of cheese and more. With a diverse and innovative team of experts in dairy packaging, BPA designs, develops and manufactures packaging solutions for packaged and raw products.




The universal valve control head Type 8681 from Bürkert Fluid Control Systems ensures cost-effective data transfer for Industry 4.0 applications in the processing sector, thanks to the new IO-Link communication interface. Operating data and diagnostic data are now always available at control level and enable simple start-up, online parameterization and preventive maintenance, Bürkert said.




The Cimcorp MultiPick is a robotic materials-handling solution that combines buffer storage and order-picking into one seamless operation. It’s designed to handle products stored in a variety of standard crates, bins and trays with rapid speed, 100% accuracy, optimal use of space, easy cleaning and improved labor savings. Any number of robots — each equipped with grippers designed to handle a particular unit load — can be implemented and tailored to the throughput demands of each facility. As product and/or order volumes grow due to demand or seasonality, warehouses can extend and scale up the number of robots as needed, Cimcorp said.




Delkor Systems said its LSP series is the most versatile robotic case packer in the industry; it can pack pouches, bags and blister packs up to 20 pounds in size into retail-ready cases, including the Delkor Cabrio Case, stackable club store trays and standard shipping cases. The LSP Series can transition to accommodate any of these package types with a simplified tool-less changeover process. Built with a modular design, the LSP Series can be built with one, two or three FANUC M10 robots to best suit rates and speeds of any operation — at speeds up to 120 products per minute.




Emerson said it continues to expand its hygienic instrumentation offering with a portfolio of compact transmitters designed for food and beverage applications. This new family of transmitters includes the Rosemount 326P pressure, Rosemount 326T temperature, Rosemount 327T temperature, Rosemount 326L level and Rosemount 1408H level instruments. The transmitters are fitted with modular process connections, making them adaptable to the numerous tank and pipe fittings commonly found in food and beverage facilities. Simple installation, along with accurate and repeatable performance, make these instruments a perfect fit for the dairy industry. Product quality can be maximized batch after batch with these and other advanced automation technologies from Emerson.




FlexLink Systems Inc. said its RI20 palletizer has a new semi-open palletizing cell with an industrial robot arm, which simplifies the complex processes of a traditional palletizer. The easy-to-use unit can be up and running in just a few hours, and its advanced safety system and two loading docks permit a capacity increase of up to 5%. The RI20 palletizer is suitable for palletizing closed boxes within the food and dairy industries. The unit includes enhanced safety features that allow a safe coexistence between the robot and operators on the production floor.




GEA said its latest innovation is the GEA PowerPak Plus, a thermoforming packaging machine that provides better packaging quality, reduced film consumption, simple handling and higher productivity. Fully integrated in the machine is GEA OxyCheck, a nondestructive quality control system for modified-atmosphere packaging that checks the oxygen content and seal integrity of every single food product packaged. The GEA technology uses a sensor spot made of a polystyrene-based fluorescent dye that is printed on the inside of the top film. Similar to an indicator strip, the wavelength of the dye changes depending on the oxygen content inside the package. Sensors on the GEA PowerPak thermoformer activate this sensor spot and then take a reading.




The Hyster robotic end rider picks up, transports and drops off loads anywhere on the floor using infrastructure-free navigation technology that adjusts to changing layout configurations in the event of expansions, peaks or other business changes. It is equipped with dual operating modes to be run autonomously or by an operator. It can switch to manual mode with the touch of a button, offering additional flexibility to help dairy operations adapt to unexpected demands. Dairy processors can use the robotic end rider to transport single or double loads, move materials to marshaling or staging areas, handle transfers over long distances and more, Hyster said.




Integrated Packaging Machinery LLC (IPM) said robotic palletizers are efficient and allow a flexible configuration that shortens start-up and installation times. Its robotic palletizing systems can handle up to four different case lines. Palletizing software is integrated into the system to ensure easy and efficient dairy operations. IPM’s robots can form multiple layers on a pallet and handle one or more units at a time, depending on the pallet configuration. The systems also can handle a wide range of product shapes and packaging types. The systems are scalable to adapt to different production needs, including fast, easy and automated switch-overs to accommodate varying package types and dimensions.




JLS Automation said its Talon sanitary robotic pick-and-place system effortlessly packages various shapes and sizes of cheese products. The high-speed system features multiple levels of sanitary construction that meet USDA requirements. Talon hygienically and accurately places cheese blocks, rounds, wedges, slices and sticks into thermoformer packs with speed and agility, eliminating the stop-and-go of manual production processes. JLS offers turnkey solutions and a collaborative partnership with processors. It is backed by successful experiences with raw cheese applications. With Talon, processors can easily adjust to production needs while reducing and even eliminating worker safety issues.




According to Rockwell Automation, industrial operators can speed up installation times and reduce parts inventories by using a single cable to provide both power and feedback between drives and motors. The company released Allen-Bradley 2090 single cables that include halogen-free polyurethane and polyvinyl chloride options. The halogen-free options are ideal for applications such as food and beverage, where users want to reduce exposure to toxins, and for applications looking to meet IEC 60754-1. The cables are designed for systems that use Kinetix 5500 and 5700 servo drives, Kinetix VP-Series servo motors and Kinetix VPAR electric cylinders. The cables also have a smaller bend radius for continuous-flex and static applications and are available in a wide range of American wire gages, types and connector options.



Quest Industrial said its Quik Pick & Pack is a high-speed robotic case packer that’s quick, accurate and compact. With the QPack custom case-packing software, the case packer can be configured to pick up as many as 1,000 pieces per minute. The Quik Pick & Pack works extremely well with flexible film packaging, thanks to its vision system and optional 3D scanning that quickly detects the pouches’ topography and center of gravity to identify the proper high point for picking. While the ideal application is flexible film packaging, it performs well with just about any packaging type that comes from a vertical form-fill-seal or horizontal flow wrapper machine.




Sesotec Inc. said metal-detection systems can be equipped with its Intuity metal-detection coil. Thanks to its multi-simultaneous frequency technology, Intuity achieves up to 50% higher scanning sensitivity than other systems on the market. Since it operates with several different frequencies in parallel, highest product purity is guaranteed even in demanding applications with high product effect. The newly developed Intuity Control control unit makes the device even easier to use than before. Metal-detection systems with Intuity coils examine packaged products for unintentional metal contamination. Even the smallest metal particles in products are detected. This ensures that packaged goods are free of metal contaminants.




Somic America said its two-part paperboard packaging machines feature the newest automation and advanced mechatronics for fast, flexible and high-quality efficiency. Retail-ready products with perfect repeatability are packaged flat or upright in a single or double row, depending on the format. Designed for medium to high outputs, the 424 series collates up to 600 products per minute — with a cartoning capacity up to 30 packaging units — in open display trays or trays with covers and wraparound cases. The Somic ReadyPack employs Rockwell automation to satisfy lower range output as a tray or wraparound, packing up to 160 products per minute. With a footprint of just 70 square feet, cartoning capacity is up to 18 units per minute for a tray packer or 12 as a wraparound unit.



Stäubli Robotics’ humid environment (HE) robotic solutions are designed for the food industry and the safe handling of food. The solutions offer hygienic design with a fully enclosed and pressurized structure, full washdown capability, compatibility with NSF H1 food-grade lubricant and many more features while maintaining market-leading precision, speed and accuracy. Stäubli said it consistently delivers engineering as effective and reliable as its service and support. The company offers a complete range of four-axis and six-axis robotic systems, collaborative and mobile robotics, and software to meet the most exacting demands of the market internationally.




Osgood Industries LLC, a Syntegon company, said it designs and manufactures custom-made inline and rotary cup filling machines for preformed containers for the dairy and food industries. Machines meet 3-A Sanitary Standards in clean and ultraclean versions and fill a broad range of food products. The company’s servo inline filler can reach an output of up to 60,000 cups per hour while providing smooth, accurate and clean filling of liquid, viscous and other food products. This innovative machine features O-ring-free filling pistons, a stainless-steel base, a solid stainless-steel frame, a human machine interface touch screen, slide-out stations, a foil cassette system, four tank pump options and anti-spilling technology.

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Designed for tapered dairy/ice cream cartons, Texwrap’s high-speed INV Series rotary product inverter integrates seamlessly with the company’s Tekkra 200 Dairy Side Infeed multi-packer to create stable bundled carton multi-packs. The INV’s cylindrical bearings ensure smooth, gentle carton rotation without sacrificing speed. Then the Tekkra 200 takes the unsupported and unstable cartons and creates securely sealed multipacks. An integrated tunnel discharge cooling station cures film quickly to ensure product integrity. Optional collation systems include lane dividers, stackers, feed screws and pick-and-place systems. Texwrap said its industry-leading warranty and customer support further ensure the lowest total cost of ownership, along with the robust design, versatility and rapid throughput of its equipment.




Yale Materials Handling Corp. said its robotic reach truck brings infrastructure-free navigation and autonomous operation to a new class of lift trucks, capable of depositing and retrieving loads as high as 30 feet and reaching into double-deep storage. It is ideal for dairy processing facilities facing pressures to maximize vertical storage space to accommodate inventory growth. The robotic reach uses a combination of sensors and 3D cameras for maximum precision at higher-level storage locations. It is capable of exceeding the productivity of operator-driven trucks at great heights. Operators can also switch the robotic reach truck to manual mode to handle excess volume or other unexpected demands.