The Flexi-Bot and Flexi-Bot MAX from Apex Motion Control were designed for the food, dairy, and pharma industries and will help address these industries’ often more stringent guidelines. The Flexi-Bot and Flexi-Bot MAX are collaborative robots (cobots) that safely work alongside human workers and are designed to help with the ongoing labor shortages and the dull, dangerous, dirty, and repetitive tasks involved with industrial manufacturing. Some of the typical applications for the Flexi-Bot and Flexi-Bot MAX are palletizing, tray handling, de-panning, primary and secondary packaging, and robotic decorating, depositing, and spraying.
CASE PACKER WITH VISION
The Spider 300v from BluePrint Automation is a two-robot case-loading system with vision allowing processors and co-packers to pack both vertical and horizontal on the same line at the same time. Built for high-speed packing and quick changeover between recipes, the Spider 300v is capable of handling standard RSC cases, three-sided displays, and a wide range of other secondary containers. The robotic case loading system also is built with a new standard modular frame designed to reduce cost by minimizing wiring and significantly minimizes footprint of the line by eliminating bulky external electrical cabinets. It is ideal for stand-up pouches of shredded cheese, the company says.
AN ADAPTIVE PALLETIZING CELL
FlexLink’s RI20 palletizing cell is compact, mobile and adapts easily to production changes in the dairy industry, whether for a new recipe or a different line location. The unit is suitable for palletizing closed boxes. The easy-to-use unit offers a unique hardware and software interface for trouble-free operations. The semi-open palletizer integrates an advanced safety system for safe coexistence between the robot and operators. It will automatically slow down if an operator enters the safety zone and only stop if needed, reducing unnecessary downtime. The two pallet positions create a seamless pallet exchange, increasing production capacity.
BOOSTING END-OF-ARM TOOL FOR IMPROVED SPEED
IPM’s AccuTURRET Cable Management technology compounds accuracy and uptime of robotic palletizers. This technology increases the agility of the end-of-arm tool (EOAT) without increasing the demand on the robot’s wrist. The AccuTURRET improves the accuracy, speed, reach, and efficiency of most pick-and-place robotic arms in a
palletizer application, and has the capability to smoothly rotate the EOAT through any sequence within a full 220 degrees of a pallet-building operation. The 220-degree lateral capability of the AccuTURRET technology extends a robot’s capability to perform especially difficult pallet-building operations in space-limited applications, and it can also reduce the complexity and cost of robotic palletizer compressed air systems, improve robot uptime and lengthen maintenance intervals.
HYGIENIC CHEESE PACKAGING WITH ROBOTS
JLS Automation is the preferred choice for turnkey system solutions for hygienic cheese packaging, including raw and natural cheeses. With JLS, USDA-compliant design is standard. Primary and secondary packaging systems feature IP69K Delta robots and stainless steel construction for easy cleaning and sanitation. These automated solutions reduce or eliminate worker safety issues by getting rid of repetitive tasks and reducing worker exposure to harsh work environments.
ROBOTIC CASE PACKER FOR FLEXIBLE BAGS
The Quest Quik Pack QP200 is a robotic case packer designed for hard-to-handle products like flexible bags/pouches in a compact footprint. Custom end-of-arm tools (EOATs) and fast product changeovers allow one machine to handle a variety of product shapes, sizes, and weights. The QP200 is ideal for bags of shredded cheese and other dairy products requiring flat and vertical/soldier packs. The system uses a vision system to identify, locate and track incoming products on a conveyor before automatically placing them into cases and is capable of packing both standard RSCs and club store display cases.
SIMPLIFIED CHEESEMAKING WITH ROBOTICS
Stäubli Robotics’ four- and six-axis Humid Environment (HE) robotic solutions ensure coverage for every aspect of the cheesemaking process, from curd slicing to cheese slab cutting, to moving cheese blocks, to primary and secondary handling, to packaging and palletization. Stäubli’s HE robotic arms are the market leader in food processing, due to a unique hygienic design that eliminates the risk of contamination while optimizing efficiency and productivity. They are also engineered to withstand the intensive wash-down processes required to ensure the safety of the consumers.
INTERGRATED PACKAGING SYSTEMS
Texwrap offers specific integrated packaging systems to the dairy industry to ensure that products such as ice cream, frozen goods, and chilled dairy products remain intact throughout shipping, distribution, and stocking. The Tekkra 200 series is an intermittent motion shrink bundler and is well-known for its ability to shrinkwrap products without overheating them. Using the tunnel discharge cooling station, the film is quickly cooled for the preservation of the product. Cartons, tubs, pails, and other dairy items are multi-packed or bundled with one of many collation systems including the Tekkra Inverter for tapered tub products.
PERSONALIZED ENGINEERING SOLUTIONS
Zepnick offers personalized engineering solutions and equipment for automation in the food, paper, and consumer goods industries. The company works closely with clients to understand their business and create well-defined automation goals to deliver solutions that not only solve their automation challenges but also meet their business and production needs. Its palletizers can be customized for tight floor plans, or to handle different products and sizes. The engineered solutions are built using proven technologies and designed within any budget. Customers can eliminate safety and ergonomic issues while increasing productivity, from a small system to a complete turnkey plant process.
COLLABORATIVE ROBOT ON MOBILE CART
Zeta Group’s Hermes Mobile Cobot Solution is reimagining what the manufacturing floor looks like. This system consists of a FANUC collaborative robot placed on a mobile cart, making it easy to move around the floor manually. The compact size of the robot allows it to fit tight floor spaces, and its collaborative design means that operators can work alongside it without needing bulky fencing or safety scanners. Hermes is suitable for various end-of-line applications in the dairy industry, such as palletizing and case packing, and it can be customized to meet the specific needs of a company’s manufacturing process.