ABB at the iREX 2013 - Packaging

2013-11-05 - Improving efficiency in the food industry
With smaller batch volumes and increased demands from consumers, the food industry requires ever faster cycle times and efficient solutions for picking and packing of products. At iREX 2013 ABB Robotics will unveil two solutions to the Japanese market meant to address these needs.

ABB Robotics’ Packaging Cell is designed to box individually-packaged products such as confectionaries, ice cream packs and pharmaceuticals at very high speeds. The system is capable of synchronizing the conveyer with the robot and achieves superior conveyor tracking performance, including tracking of high speed indexing conveyor belts.

This superior tracking performance enables customers to optimize the balance of motion between the conveyer and the robot and can process up to 400 items per minute depending on the combination of conveyer performance and chosen grippers. Indexing conveyers also provide greater flexibility for the range of products that can be handled on demand. Furthermore, lead time for installation of the Packaging Cell has been significantly reduced as a result of standardization—delivering significant cost savings.

“The Packaging Cell was recently chosen by committee to receive an award from Japan Pack 2013. The complete cell has solved the challenge of dealing with an ever-changing variety of products at high speed, something that has traditionally been a complicated issue in the food industry,” says Bengt Stom, Global Product Line Manager.

In addition to the Packaging Cell, ABB will showcase its new 8kg IRB 360—the latest addition to ABB’s FlexPicker™ portfolio, which also includes 1kg and 3kg versions and has an over 5,000 unit global install base.

The robot’s 1130 mm working range has been optimized for packing and it has the smallest footprint of all delta robots handling more than 3kg. Advanced motion control simplifies the frame design, and the tool flange has been re-engineered to accommodate larger grippers. These larger and heavier grippers make the robot ideal for handling flow wrapped products, giving the FlexPicker™ the ability to pick up as many as 500 products per minute directly from an indexing belt. ABB will also offer an upgrade kit to transform existing 1kg and 3kg models into 8kg models, enabling customers to enjoy ABB’s new technology while increasing the flexibility of existing assets.

“ABB goes beyond simply being a robot supplier,” says Stom. “We are a full service provider and partner. As such we have started making integrated system proposals for the Japanese market, which cover everything from robot features to cost-benefit performance by conducting thorough production line consultation. We are already getting favorable feedback from customers who have gone through the process and expect the food and pharmaceuticals industries to take full advantage of this cost saving opportunity.”



Visit www.abb.com/robotics for further information.

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