ABB FlexPicker Packaging Robot
It is fitted with triple grippers that allow the robot to pick up three randomly positioned products from the conveyor belt and places the products individually on a roll stock machine. An upstream image processing system provides the positioning and location data. The 3kg payload demonstrates its high capacity to offer increased product flexibility, and the superior tracking performance enables the products to be picked while moving.
The ABB IRB 360 FlexPicker is equipped with integrated vision software to recognize the product type and the orientation on the conveyor belt. It has high-speed flexibility to ensure production is maximized. The PickMaster software complements the FlexPicker and makes programming simple.
The FlexPicker can be tailored to a wide range of applications due to the four different variants of the robot. The standard model can be altered to increase arm length if the robot needs to reach over large conveyors. The compact model saves floor space and can fit into compact packaging machines. The high payload variant can take more products simultaneously.
This robot also has a hygienic design for wash down applications to ensure food safety. Before packaged food gets to consumers, it must be picked up from a conveyor belt and packaged. When robots package food, they improve hygienic conditions, as well as increase placement speed.
At HoneyTop Foods Facility, the ABB FlexPicker was chosen because of the accelerated production and the improved hygienic conditions. The FlexPicker recognized and grabbed overlapping pancakes from the conveyor, and then stacked them for easy packing. The impressing sorting routine could pack 400 pancakes per minute!
Pepperidge Farm implemented the FlexPicker to automate the high-risk repetitive motions inherent in packaging operations.
Robots do the sandwiching of chocolate in the company’s Milano cookies.
These are just some good examples of various food handling manufacturers who have chosen to automate their production lines.