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Fully Automated – Robotic Case Erecting, Case Packing, and Palletizing System

Latest Integration Project

Fully Automated – Robotic Case Erecting, Case Packing, and Case Palletizing Overview

Motion Controls Robotics latest integration project is a fully automated, robotic system for a customer in the food and beverage industry. The process starts with in-line case erecting of new or recycled boxes that are quickly case packed using a six-axis robot, packed cases move through to a bundler for strapping. Cases are then palletized based on a specific pallet pattern. Full pallets are wrapped on a turn-table stretch wrapper, and placed in the freezer.

Customer Challenges – Robotic Case Erecting, Case Packing, and Palletizing

The customer’s goal was to be able to accomplish a case packing and palletizing rate of 12 cases per minute. Using hard automation to push buns into each case made this rate impossible because the next case must wait for the pusher to move back to its original, start position. The key was using a 6 axis robot which allows for more flexibility and quicker movement. Using robots for this application also reduces product damage through being able to better orient the product and case placement. This is important with the more delicate products typical in the food and beverage industry.

fully automated

Robotic Case Erecting, Case Packing, and Palletizing Fully Automated Process

  1. Case Erecting using a FANUC M20iA 35M

    The case erecting process involved a few challenges that could not be met by systems we have used in the past, so we designed one from scratch to meet these challenges.

    The case erector process includes:

    • 12 cases a minute
    • Auto height sensing
    • Case erector can erect new and recycled cases at a rate of 12 cases per minute
    • One size case that is side loaded or end loaded for banding
    • Magazine registers the cases
    • New bundles of cases can be loaded while cycling reducing time lost to only one case which the system absorbs quickly
  1. Case packing using a FANUC M-10iA 10M
    Using a robot for case packing was key to the success of this system. This 6-axis robot can quickly and easily change the speed and motion profile to adjust for packing rate. This cannot be done with 2 axis, hard automation. There is more wait time and therefore lost time in production.

    This versatility improves cycle time and reduces product damage. Also, robotic packing is better because it will allow for years of service not a specific amount of cycles. We have robots with 14-17 million cycles with just normal PMs performed each year.

  1. Palletizing using a M-410iB 140H
    Once the case is packed it is run through a bundler which adds a strap to close the case. These finished cases move on into the palletizing cell. Here the product is palletized using a designated pallet pattern. The palletizing cell works with an automated pallet dispenser to refresh the pallet when a finished pallet is sent out to be wrapped on the turn-table stretch wrapper.

Robots and End of Arm Tooling

M20iA 35Mfully automated

  • AXIS ROBOT – 6
  • REACH – 911 mm

The end of arm tooling for the case erector combines vacuum grippers and mechanical grippers to pick and erect the cases.

M-10iA 10M

  • AXIS ROBOT – 6
  • REACH – 911 mm

The case packing end of arm tooling is simply used for pushing the product into the case.

The M-410iB 140H is a very common choice when selecting a palletizing robot.

  • AXIS ROBOT – 4
  • REACH – 911 mm

The palletizer’s end of arm tooling uses vacuum grippers to pick and place the cases on the pallet.

Safety Features

Motion Controls Robotics follows the RIA 15.06-2012 Safety Standard designed to make sure employees and robots work safely together. We take full advantage of new technologies and innovations available. Each system is complete with safety fencing and cell entry gates equipped with safety interlock switches.

Customer Results

By developing innovative ways to accomplish specific parts of this process quicker, We were able to meet the goal rate, and have the system ready for delivery on schedule. This food and beverage customer was extremely happy with the results of the system.
If your company needs a fully automated process that would benefit from case erecting, packing, and palletizing. Contact MCRI for the added benefit of experience and innovation. We have a variety of examples and experiences in designing robotic packing and palletizing systems. These are common applications that many companies are looking to add to their facility.

Contact Motion Controls Robotics to get a quote.
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