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Brewing up a robotic handling solution

06 February 2017

For breweries, transferring filled bottles to crates, while keeping up with line production speeds – which can typically be between 800 and 1,300 bottles per minute – requires multiple bottles to be handled in each cycle. This, in turn, means that the payload to be handled can be high with fast transfer speeds required to keep pace. To solve its bottle and crate handling tasks, one brewery turned to Güdel, to help develop a flexible solution. 

The suggested solution comprises two separate gantry robots, mounted to a single overhead framework arrangement, which gives a reduced footprint to suit the limited floor-space available within the plant.

Filled bottles arrive on a wide slat-band conveyor before being collated into groups of 20 (4 x 5) bottles, ready for loading into the crate. The first of the two gantry robots uses a multi gripper capable of picking up 80 separate bottles in the required configuration simultaneously to fill four separate crates together. Empty crates are delivered on a twin roller conveyor system which runs under the bottle line. The robot loads four crates on one conveyor, followed by four crates on the adjacent one.

When the robot has loaded all eight crates, they are moved to the second Güdel gantry robot which picks four crates at a time and stacks them on a waiting Euro Pallet. Both robots continue to work in sequence to fill crates and build complete pallet loads. Güdel gantry robots were selected for this application due to the compact configuration of the dual robot system and their reputation for reliably handling heavy payloads with the highest levels of accuracy at high speeds.

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