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emkon. packaging machinery: robot solutions
Robot-assisted sachet packer: emkon. FLEXPICK SP
The packaging of sachets by a hygienic-design packaging machine
Six Scara robots of the latest generation (Stäubli, type “Fast Picker TP80”) are the core of our sachet packing line emkon. FLEXPICK SP. The entire machine is executed in hygienic design for a major american customer of the pharmaceutical sector. The machine places the highest demands on camera and lightning technology as well as of the applied robots and line tracking technology. Further important points for our customer: format variety, high-speed and ease of use despite all the complexity.
With a maximum performance of 1000 sachets per minute in the infeed, the machine packs five various sachet formats (width from 38 to 63 mm and length from 63 to 136 mm) into differently sized folding cartons. The folding cartons are erected by the associated carton packer during the process.
Gallery (6 photos)
Complex line-tracking technology leads to success
The 3 in a row connected Stäubli Fast Picker are filling two parallel attached pocket-type conveyers. „The used robot-line-tracking-technology is very complex. The movements and picks of the robots are coordinated among each other and are tuned on the speed of the conveyor belt as well as the clocking of the pocket chain. The high flexibility of our solution allows every random combination of the products. The various fill quantitites and the broad format varieties were the core the core demands of our customer“, says Thorben Meints, responsible project manager at emkon.
"This flexibility was out of reach with linear programming. Thus, the TP80-robots picks the sachets of dynamic patterns”, says Meints . „We had to approach the limits of what is technical feasible to get the installed systems to do their tasks reliable and coordinated with each other.“ Each of the six robots managed an average of 85 picks per minute – depending on the format.“ It is a remarkable performance in consideration of the complexity”, adds Meints.
Simple format changes – support for the operators
To ensure an easy handling of the machine , we oriented at the Poka-Yoke principle. Its purpose is to reduce or eliminate operator errors. Everyone is familiar with daily life procedures that are protected against errors. For example: Before an ATM releases money, the EC-card must be removed. By this, the card cannot be forgotten.
The Poka-Yoke principle is integrated in the emkon. FLEXPICK SP by color coding. Thus, the operators are guided in case of format changes which are almost tool-free possible. Usually, format changes are successfully completed within 30 minutes. The risk of mistakes is reduced to a minimum.
See our video about a format change on the FLEXPICK SP and the downstreaming folding carton packer.
Further detailed informations about the sachet packer emkon. FLEXPICK SP are available at the website of "neue verpackung" magazine (german speaking): emkon. FLEXPICK SP @ neueverpackung.de