Next-generation case packer

Featuring collaborative robot automation system

Proco Machinery Inc., the Ontario, Canada-based manufacturer of automation systems for the blow moulding industry, has unveiled the next generation of its Pakman case packer, which is integrated with Yaskawa Motomon HC10 and HC20 collaborative robots. Proco says that this integrated, automated arrangement offers more efficient handling and will deliver improved efficiency and cost reductions, compared with conventional automation.

Proco has focused for years on achieving greater efficiencies through the implementation of innovative technologies and automation in bottle packaging. The company says that the collaborative robotic (cobotic) automation system in the latest iteration of Pakman works interactively with human staff and needs minimal training for new tasks. The systems reduce container handling container and provide a good return on investment (ROI), according to Siva Krish, vice president of sales for Proco Machinery.

“These systems are being designed in such a way that they complement the production line and provide simplified operation, a smaller footprint, and enhanced efficiencies,” he said.

Proco’s Pakman case packer features a collating indexing accumulation system to accumulate complete layers of bottles inside the packaging cell. It stages bottle layers so they can be picked up by Proco’s end-of-arm (EOA) tooling and placed inside the box.

The accumulation indexing conveyor helps to increase the line speed of the Pakman packaging cell by requiring only one movement of the robot per layer. The high static in heated PET bottles leads them to repel each other when they are close together. Proco says that Pakman’s layer pack EOAT technology ensures that containers are placed inside the box as complete layers, preventing any change of bottle position.

Proco’s recently-launched Integrated Rotary Inverting Technology helps to rotate a layer of bottles to neck-down orientation. The Pakman packaging cell equipped with this optional feature will help the processor pack bottles in all neck-down orientation in a layer formation and without any impact on cell size. The feature can be specified at outset or added at a later date. The system’s flexibility enables it to handle different pack configurations and the company’s engineering team can develop a custom designed system to provide an efficient, cost-effective solution.

Proco was able to provide a recent customer with a multiple packing solution within a single cell, to handle both re-shipper containers and regular full boxes. Its quick-release tooling enabled the customer to complete changeovers to new pack patterns within 30 minutes; programs to change tooling and run different bottles can be recalled from the human machine interface (HMI).

The Proco Pakman case packer is a totally integrated packaging module, including a safety door and interlocking as standard. It is supplied with a six-axis collaborative robotic arm, infeed conveyor and a box conveyor, all mounted onto a common subframe that is fitted with levelling pads and castor wheels. This means it can be easily moved into position, set up, and be in production quickly. The system’s compact footprint of just 2,540 mm x 1,780 mm (100 in x 70) means that it can fit between blow moulding lines.

As well as Yaskawa HC10 or HC20 cobots, the Pakman includes an integrated collating table and container inverting system; inbuilt secondary PLC with HMI; vacuum feature for polybags; a box alignment mechanism; and both bottle and box infeed and exit conveyors.

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