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Robotics experts to disclose insights next month

Robotics experts to disclose insights next month
The integrated and portable Robox system can be moved by forklift as a unit.

Two forward-thinking companies employing and deploying robotics in packaging operations are sharing their knowledge next month from a common platform.

The location is the city of Philadelphia, which hosts PhillyPack, a UBM event, and the platform is literally the conference stage where speakers from Schneider Packaging Equipment and FANUC Robotics America Corp. will be co-presenting on the topic of robotics. Their presentation the afternoon of October 7 is titled Case Study: New Robotics & Automation Systems – How They Enable Efficiency and Personalization, which is part of a one-day conference on “Packaging Design That Sells - The Latest Innovations & Strategies in Cost-Effective Packaging.” The conference overview can be found here.

Confirmed for the event are Kevin Keefe, Schneider marketing manager, and Wesley Garrett, Fanuc account manager.

These companies are deep into robotics, which is of course Fanuc’s main market. Fanuc is a major vendor of robots and robotic systems into palletizing and other operations. For example, Fanuc's recent model M410-iC 315 palletizer can handle loads up to 315kg/695lb at a rate of 1,200 cycles an hour. What is especially remarkable about the system is that it can adapt to changing conditions, such as misaligned loads.

Schneider has been integrating robotics into its case loading and other packaging systems for several years now. It is also a provider of compact, standalone robotic cells. For example, the Robox palletizer for trays, cases, bags or bottles requires minimal floor space and was the first system to feature a mobile “Plug and Play” design. It’s capable of picking and packing, assembling, and loading. The robot’s long arm can pack pallets up to 70 inches high, nearly 20 inches more than the previous generation, and can handle loads up to 35kg/77lb. It easily fits into small hand-palletizing spaces, making palletizing portable where needed. The entire Robox module can be easily transported wherever a palletizer is needed.

The latest Robox version uses vision intelligence technology (Vi Technology) to top-load products into a corrugated case.

Appropriately, Keefe and Garrett responded to our questions as an integrated duo.

What industry drivers are pushing interest and use in robotics?

Manufactures need flexible automation as consumer products and demand are continuously changing rapidly.  Robotic automation can give the flexibility the manufacture needs to be prepared for these changes.

What about the “personalized” aspect that robots can bring to packaging production?

Robots come in all sizes and configurations to fit each specific application need.  This allows for packaging lines to be extremely efficient and compact to meet customers’ requirements.

What the dynamics are you seeing between using hard automation and robotics?

End users are always going to be looking for reliability and consistency when it comes to automation and implementing a robotic solution to an automation scenario means less parts, less wear and tear and ultimately more uptime. End users all have the same goal, while hard automation and robotics are two different ways of accomplishing that goal, robotics often carry less question marks when it comes to those factors.

Their presentation will hit on these key points:

  • What technological advancements are being made in robotics and automation for packaging?
  • What are the opportunities for improvements in efficiency during production, manufacturing and delivery?
  • Driving down costs and shortening time between concept and final product
  • Case study look at how transformation of the packaging line can achieve cost efficiency, flexibility and personalization.

For more on PhillyPack and the intensive one-day Packaging That Sells conference, please visit the website.

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