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Robotic Case Packing and Palletizing
The Challenge: A manufacturer of pharmaceutical creams decided to move out-sourced manufacturing and packaging processes into a new in-house facility in order to better control product quality. In addition to equipment that case packs foil sachets or two sizes of tubes, the manufacturer required a space-saving automated solution for packing cases of product into RSC shippers and palletizing the shipper cases for final shipment.
The Solution: ESS Technologies, Inc. designed a fully integrated system that case packs foil sachets or tubes and then overturns and conveys the product cases to a V30P Robotic Case Packer/Palletizer. Custom end-of-arm tooling (EOAT) design handles six product cases at a time. The EOAT also picks deck sheets from an integrated magazine and places it on the pallet prior to palletizing the shipper cases. A flow through pallet dispenser conveys empty pallets into and full pallets out of the robotic cell.
How it Works: Cases of product, either foil sachets or tubes of a
pharmaceutical cream, exit an ESS V30 case packer via a conveyor. The
cases are overturned so that they will load into the shipper cases in the
correct orientation. A flow through pallet dispenser places an empty
pallet in position, after which a FANUC M-710iC robot with vacuum-style
end effecter picks a cardboard deck sheet from a magazine and places it on
the pallet. Product cases accumulate at the V30P infeed. When the correct
number of cases is present, the V30P picks three cases with one side of
the EOAT and then shifts slightly to the right to pick three additional
cases. The V30 system picks RSC shipper cases and forms them
automatically. Product cases are packed in a 6 x2 pattern with two layers
per case. The case is then closed using an automatic taping system.
Closed cases are conveyed from the taping system and transferred at 90 degrees via a roller conveyor to enter the palletizing cell. As full shipper cases accumulate, the robot switches from filling product cases to palletizing the full shipper cases. The system can load and palletize shipper cases at a rate of four cases per minute. Full pallets automatically exit the cell via the flow-through pallet conveyor and an empty pallet moves into position.
|The Results: The combination of a case packing and palletizing with a single robot minimizes the required floor space for the complete packaging line and provides an automatic system for end-of-line packaging and palletizing. Flow through pallet dispensers further automated the packaging line, allowing the system to operate with a minimum number of personnel.|