By Canadian Packaging StaffGeneral Curwood ESS Technologies FANUC Flexicon Corporation Marden Edwards Multivac P&G Plastic Technologies S+S Inspection Inc. Schreiner MediPharm Sidel Spiroflow Systems Tharo Systems
A newly-developed robotic system from ESS Technologies, Inc. integrates Fanuc’s new M-1iA delta-style robot with its own custom end-of-arm-tooling (EOAT) and programming to create a very compact system for machine loading and unloading applications, such as unloading filled and capped micro-tubes and placing them onto a labeler infeed conveyor at a rate of 60 tubes per minute. In this particular application, the M-1iA loading system is integrated directly with the machine, eliminating the need for a separate stand or robot base, while the robot’s line-tracking capabilities enable it to accurately pick the micro-tubes from the monoblock starwheel and place them onto a labeler infeed conveyor, with the custom-made, gripper-style EOAT handling two vials at a time. Other well-suited applications for the robotic system include loading blister-packing and thermoforming machines, loading or unloading pucks, high-speed sorting, enhancing assembly systems, loading moving conveyors, or picking parts from moving conveyors.
The new SEMI-AUTO overwrapping machine from Marden Edwards—designed primarily for applications featuring a wide variety of pack sizes and carton shapes—can perform up to 10 wraps per minute via semi-automatic operation whereby the operator activates the wrap cycle with a foot-pedal to drive the film to the correct length, cuts the film with an onboard guillotine, makes a lateral seal by hand, and deposits the packs into the folding deck to complete the tucking and folding process. Compatible with any reel-fed OPP (oriented polypropylene) film, the SEMI-AUTO system can accommodate size changes in less than 10 minutes without any tooling changes, according to the company, with its optional tear-tape applicator enabling easy-open unwrapping of each pallet wrap after shipment delivery.