Automated Packing and Palletizing
The Client & Objective
A major paperboard container manufacturer and food packaging supplier reached out to MMCI in order to improve the efficiency of their current carton packaging process for a new carton manufacturing line.
After evaluating this project, MMCI manufactured and developed a multi-function robotic system for processing multiple lines that not only saved valuable floor space but also eliminated existing equipment costs.
Due to this client’s complex packaging requirements, this system required MMCI’s engineering team to develop a custom multi-functional end of arm tool to be used by a six axis Fanuc robot. The tool was designed to work with a custom manufactured pallet magazine.
The end effector was developed to accomplish three separate tasks:
- First, a case packing feature was designed which utilizes articulating “fingers” which rotate out of the end of the effector to allow the stacks of cartons to be picked up and held in place before releasing them into each case to prevent spillage.
- Second, the machine was integrated with specially-designed forks, which fold outwards to facilitate the grabbing and picking up of empty pallets from the dispenser and placing them for loading.
- And finally, MMCI integrated a vacuum handling system to allow for the picking and placing of each case onto the pallet.
MMCI Robotics also provided a unique program for the robot to allow an operator to easily adjust the parameter required for palletizing. These parameter adjustments are manipulated on the operator interface located on the system control panel.
The entire robotic cell was integrated with multiple lines of conveyors including:
- A multi-zoned infeed belt conveyor which separates and positions stacked cartons for packing.
- An incoming roller conveyor which feeds empty cases into the robot cell.
- A case packing conveyor with a case tilting arm, to hold the cases at an angle for filling the cases by the robot.
- An outgoing conveyor line which transfers filled cases outside of the cell for sealing.
- An ingoing conveyor to feed in sealed cases ready for palletizing.
By integrating the entire robotic cell with existing conveyor lines and equipment, MMCI provided a turnkey automated packing and palletizing solution for their client. This single source solution from MMCI provided a more efficient system while saving floor space, time and equipment costs on behalf of the client.