In the food industry, products can change in the blink of an eye. Fortunately, several food processing plants have made the switch to robotic pick and place systems to help automate their lines and improve their overall production.
One of these plants, Voortman Cookies, has added several new automations to their plant recently, according to an August 2013 issue of Packaging Digest. One of those purchases was a toploading, three-robot pick-and-place cartooning system to “reinvigorate” their cookie production plant located in Canada.
Voortman Cookies has been around for decades, and they are known for their seven lines of cookies and three lines of wafers, the article stated. With this new system in place, the cookie maker has pick and place automation that is versatile enough to bend and flex with any cookie changes Voortman can throw at it.
However, this isn’t Voortman’s first go around with automation for their company. They also have a “spider” type robot that was installed in 2005 that has packaged 18 different cookie varieties in eight years, and a Demaurex system that has been working for 16 years, performing the picking and placing of baked cookies from another line.
As companies add pick and place robotics to their production lines, they start to see the advantages that these pick and placement systems can have for their facility’s productivity. Not only does a pick and place robot speed up production, but it will also pick up and place the product delicately, without damaging it the way a human hand could. With exact pressures and sensors, pick and place robotics pick up items with the same amount of force every time.
Also, by automating with pick-and-place robotics, companies are able to move their human workers to less tedious, more fulfilling positions within the company, sometimes even teaching them how to man the robotic systems.
Voortman, along with several other food industry manufacturers, believe that automation is key to continuing to improve their products. They may continue to add automation for years to come.
RobotWorx, a certified integrator of FANUC, Motoman, ABB, Universal Robots, and KUKA robotics, has several pick and place models available in our Marion, Ohio warehouse. These models are able to be purchased, as well as customized in a workcell. Customers have access to our highly-skilled staff that can help them through designing the perfect pick-and-place system for their facility.