Efficient Packaging Automation Rounds Off IML Processes
To make the entire process of packaging production for containers and buckets as efficient as possible, further automation steps are necessary in addition to the plastic injection molding process and in-mold labeling (IML), especially for the transport and cartoning of the manufactured buckets, cups and other containers. For this reason, Beck Automation offers customer-specific solutions for the further handling of these packages, also known as “Down Stream”.
“Basically, for our customers, the automation of further process steps, such as packaging in cardboard boxes, is primarily about increasing cost-effectiveness,” said Nino Zehnder, chief sales officer, Beck Automation AG. “Simple, repetitive as well as often physically strenuous and not entirely harmless work can be taken over by robots in the future, massively increasing the efficiency of a plant.”
However, this automatic packaging requires that the produced parts undergo a 100 percent inspection beforehand. Only if it can be ensured that no bad part is packed, Beck Automation can automate the downstream work steps. For this reason, the company has been integrating the IMLWatcher from Intravis GmbH in Aachen, Germany, since 2016. Its camera systems are perfectly tailored to the requirements in the IML packaging market and allow the company to offer customers a complete package that is perfectly tailored to their needs.
The packaging automation is connected directly downstream to the IML system. Buckets, yogurt pots or coffee capsules are stacked automatically and placed in packaging cartons by a robot. In the process, the finished stacks are placed horizontally into the boxes with special grippers. Slight tilting of the boxes ensures that the stacks are placed in a controlled manner. The company from the Zurich area uses 6-axis robots from FANUC for depositing the stacks and integrates them into the control concept. The entire packaging process takes place in a safety cell.
The engineers at Beck Automation are also looking at future developments. Intelligent, driverless transport systems (AGV) and the integration of further support modules, such as carton erectors, bag insertion machines, carton sealers or palletizing systems, play an important role here.
For more information, visit https://www.beck-automation.com.