Robotic Automation Versatility

Sep 18, 2013

Industrial robots are great tools to enhance the quality of your products while also offering great versatility to companies. Whether it is palletizing or packaging, industrial robots have led to increased production rates, higher accuracy, and better efficiency.


Robots bring ver­sa­til­i­ty to the process­es that they auto­mate. Automa­tion, espe­cial­ly in the food indus­try in process­es such as case pal­letiz­ing and pack­ag­ing, has led to increased pro­duc­tion rates and high­er accu­ra­cy and efficiency. 

Advance Brands offers cooked poul­try, beef, and pork, and while meat hasn’t been an indus­try typ­i­cal­ly known for pack­ag­ing automa­tion, it became a pri­or­i­ty at Advance Brands. Their inven­to­ry is pro­duced for spe­cial­ized cus­tomer orders, and automa­tion allows them to adapt to dif­fer­ent items, dif­fer­ent pack­ag­ing styles, and dif­fer­ent types of pack­ages. One of the auto­mat­ed lines in the plant can process up to 16,000 pounds per hour of chick­en nuggets or strips. This line feeds into three pack­ag­ing lines where the prod­ucts are pouched and sealed. 

The end-of-line oper­a­tions add to the plant’s ver­sa­til­i­ty: an auto­mat­ic pick­ing process picks and case-packs prod­ucts in pri­ma­ry pack­ages. The case is taped by a case seal­er, labeled with a print-and-apply label, and then its bar code is read by a pal­letiz­ing sys­tem to be guid­ed into one of four lanes. There, a robot from KUKA pal­letizes it accord­ing to the customer’s order. 

Pep­peridge Farm has one of the most mod­ern cook­ie pro­duc­tion sys­tems in the world, as every­thing is auto­mat­ed. The oven, prod­uct han­dling, tray fill­ing, bag man­u­fac­ture, fill­ing, and pack­ag­ing process­es are all com­plete­ly han­dled by robots. SIG Pack is the robot­ic sup­pli­er, and worked with Pep­peridge Farm to address its main prob­lem: stack­ing cook­ies is com­pli­cat­ed, and the demand for qual­i­ty was high. Along with the wide range of prod­ucts that need­ed to be pro­duced, automa­tion was the solution. 

One half of a two-lay­er cook­ie is tak­en from the cool­ing belt, coat­ed with choco­late, and then turned with the coat­ed side up. DELTA robots then join the two halves accu­rate­ly at a speed of 1300 pieces per minute. The robots then pick up the prod­ucts and lay them into the paper trays that are fed to them. The robots are fit­ted with Eth­er­net con­nec­tions allow­ing them to exchange data with one anoth­er, guar­an­tee­ing that the trays are always filled and cook­ies cleared from the belt. With 180,000 pack­ages leav­ing the sys­tem in 8 hours, the ben­e­fits of automa­tion are clear.

Automa­tion allows these food plants, along with many oth­er plants in a vari­ety of indus­tries, the ver­sa­til­i­ty they require to pro­duce their prod­ucts in an effi­cient and accu­rate man­ner. Robots​.com spe­cial­izes in robot­ic automa­tion inte­gra­tion and can pro­vide many exam­ples of robot ver­sa­til­i­ty. If you are inter­est­ed in inte­grat­ing a robot sys­tem into your facil­i­ty, con­tact us today online or at 8777626881.

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