Robotics

Robots have gone from conceptualization in far-out, yet farsighted science fiction novels to where they are no longer a novelty on packaging production operations.

That’s not just an impression, it’s a fact: The industry’s trade group, the Robotic Industries Association [http://www.robotics.org] (RIA) estimates that approximately 232,000 robots are now at use in United States factories, placing the U.S. second only to Japan in robots.

The North American robotics market has recorded its strongest year ever in 2012, according to RIA statistics, when a total of 22,598 robots valued at $1.48 billion were sold to NA companies, beating the previous record of 19,337 robots sold in 2011.

The latest RIA figures reported in late 2013 show mixed news: NA robotics orders have declined while robotics shipments have soared. However, there is a caveat: The slowdown comes from the automotive segment. Sales activity continued to be especially strong in non-automotive industries including Food and Consumer Goods, all of which posted double-digit growth through September.

Anyone who has followed packaging over the years has witnessed the rise of the robots in packaging operations, trending upward as each generation of robotic systems have become nimbler, speedier and smarter…and more cost effective.

For example, a major commitment by Woodbridge Winery to switch to bulk glass loads was justified by high-speed robotics on the infeed side where even removing the loads’ unitizing materials is done robotically (see Woodbridge Winery bulks up production and takes up boxing). 

Companies like Voortman cookies have added carton-packaging robots—a well-coordinated trio of robots, no less—to its recipe for producing and packaging cookies efficiently. It also uses Delta-style robots to pick-and-place the fragile cookies into trays (see Robotics remain a key ingredient at Voortman).

Robots are becoming more even sophisticated even as they become easier to “train.” And they are being released from their usually confining cages: Recent developments include adaptive robots where no programming is required—neither are any safety cages or fencing.

Now that they’re out of their cages, anything’s possible.

Content Tabs


Article

The collaborative robots vendor that introduced Baxter to the world in 2012 and Sawyer in 2015 evaluates cobots' opportunities in packaging today.

 


Article

To optimize packaging line logistics, a new industrial version of a mobile autonomous robot was designed to automatically collect, transport and deliver pallets holding more than 1,100 pounds at speeds of nearly 4.5 miles per


Article

Want to know about new developments, options and what’s state-of-the-art for collaborative robots from an insider? Here’s expert advice and insights from a vendor’s technical support specialist.

 


Article

As more packaging lines look to robots for automation efficiencies, and more brands explore flexible packaging formats for shelf impact and sustainability advantages, the need for special handling options has risen.


Article

Robots were hot in 2017 and they’ll be hotter still in 2018. It was impossible to turn around without seeing a story about them.


Article

At MD&M West 2018, Nelipak Healthcare Packaging showed how a collaborative robot could help medical device packaging professionals automate certain steps in the heat sealing process.


Article

Move over automated guided vehicles (AGVs).


Company

AUBO Robotics is dedicated to creating collaborative robots that are advanced human friendly robotic solutions to serve the small to midsize manufacturing sector.


Article

Collaborative robots could help medical device packagers with kitting, assembly, case packing, and palletizing, as long as the loads are under 22 lb, reports Travis Langford, sales development manager,


Article

Robots are getting more human every day. Yet, have you ever seen a robot shed a tear of joy or gasp in surprise? Probably not…but they’re about to show their “sensitive” side.


Article

Robotics experts from Omron Automation, Rockwell Automation, Universal Robots and Yaskawa Motoman share eight insights and newsy updates in the fast-changing market for cobots.

 


Article

A new kind of single end-of-arm tool (EOAT) allows robots to handle a range of products and packaging without the need for tool changes or software modifications between cycles.

 


Article

A collaborative robot can do anything a human can do—and with a one-month ROI. This and other insights, advice and best practices for using cobots in packaging and other applications were shared in a recent webinar.


Article

The anonymous nature of our packaging poll about collaborative robots elicited some interesting feedback such as the news that more than 25% of respondents were either using cobots or would in 2016.

 


Article

Manufacturers today strive to be more flexible, nimble and adaptable than ever before to stay competitive.


The collaborative robots vendor that introduced Baxter to the world in 2012 and Sawyer in 2015 evaluates cobots' opportunities in packaging today.

 

The second in Packaging Digest’s series of interviews with collaborative...


To optimize packaging line logistics, a new industrial version of a mobile autonomous robot was designed to automatically collect, transport and deliver pallets holding more than 1,100 pounds at speeds of nearly 4.5 miles per hour.

The new...


Want to know about new developments, options and what’s state-of-the-art for collaborative robots from an insider? Here’s expert advice and insights from a vendor’s technical support specialist.

 

During Advanced Design &...


As more packaging lines look to robots for automation efficiencies, and more brands explore flexible packaging formats for shelf impact and sustainability advantages, the need for special handling options has risen. Developing these solutions is...


Robots were hot in 2017 and they’ll be hotter still in 2018. It was impossible to turn around without seeing a story about them. Often it was about how robots and artificial intelligence were going to put everyone out of work and that the world...


At MD&M West 2018, Nelipak Healthcare Packaging showed how a collaborative robot could help medical device packaging professionals automate certain steps in the heat sealing process. In Nelipak’s booth,...


Move over automated guided vehicles (AGVs). Autonomous mobile robots (AMRs) are taking over for packaging line replenishment and other manufacturing tasks because of their easy adaptability to ever-present changes in production. Here’s what you...


Collaborative robots could help medical device packagers with kitting, assembly, case packing, and palletizing, as long as the loads are under 22 lb, reports Travis Langford, sales development manager,...


Robots are getting more human every day. Yet, have you ever seen a robot shed a tear of joy or gasp in surprise? Probably not…but they’re about to show their “sensitive” side.

New 6-axis force/torque sensors from robotics manufacturer...


Robotics experts from Omron Automation, Rockwell Automation, Universal Robots and Yaskawa Motoman share eight insights and newsy updates in the fast-changing market for cobots.

 

To anyone attending an industry event relating to...


A new kind of single end-of-arm tool (EOAT) allows robots to handle a range of products and packaging without the need for tool changes or software modifications between cycles.

 

We live on a planet that has a world of variability,...


A collaborative robot can do anything a human can do—and with a one-month ROI. This and other insights, advice and best practices for using cobots in packaging and other applications were shared in a recent webinar.

 

In a July 21...


The anonymous nature of our packaging poll about collaborative robots elicited some interesting feedback such as the news that more than 25% of respondents were either using cobots or would in 2016.

 

Given the on-going politicking...


Manufacturers today strive to be more flexible, nimble and adaptable than ever before to stay competitive. Labor shortages, rising wages and increasing demand for personalized products present challenges to productivity and efficiency. To combat...


When do robots make sense in packaging rather than hard automation? And when does a collaborative robot, or cobot, trump a robot? Three experts in packaging automation provide advice on robotics—plus a case study in which the first of three cobots...


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Since 1981, About Packaging Robotics has been committed to producing high quality, yet affordable robotic package handling systems. Our products are engineered to open, fill, transport, seal, code and label as variety of pre-made pouches and bags...


Intelligrated is a single-source, certified robotics integrator with more than 20 years of robotic material handling experience, offering complete Alvey® robotic solutions for applications in manufacturing, warehousing and distribution facilities...


AUBO Robotics is dedicated to creating collaborative robots that are advanced human friendly robotic solutions to serve the small to midsize manufacturing sector. Our goal is to provide our clients with a robot designed to interact with a human...


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