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Two Packaging Concepts - One Super Fast System

14 September 2011

Food and Pharma industry Packaging Systems specialist Tekpak launch the new Packman® 500 robotic pick and place system.

With a choice of packaging options and ultra fast changeover cycles Packman® 500 delivers flexibility, efficiency and short payback times. Designed to handle small high volume products such as chocolate bars, flow wrapped biscuits, energy bars and snacks etc. the Packman® 500 system operates at speeds of up to 550 items per minute.

The speed and flexibility of the Delta Robot used within the system is further enhanced by the Tekpak designed “Varipitch” gripper unit and the Tekpak pocketed collator. The innovative feature of this gripper is its ability to make use of the rotation axis of the robot to effect pitch changes on-the-fly as the robot moves from the pick position to the placement position, where the products can be deposited side by side and without gaps.

The Elau systems’ robot controller is used to drive the servo controlled pocketed belt collation system. Capable of indexing at high speed, this unit ensures that products can be delivered into the pockets without gaps, even in the case of dis-continuous product feeding or variations in product in-feed speeds. The same Elau controller also continuously returns the exact position of individual products, enabling them to be tracked and picked up by the robot on the fly. Individual product locations are stored in a FIFO (first in first out) buffer ensuring that the robot always knows the precise position of the collated product.

High productivity and efficiency levels are assured by industry leading changeover times – just 80 seconds in the case of the gripper to select a 4, 5, 6 or 8 item configuration and 75 seconds is all that is needed to change a transport conveyor belt and bearing.

Flexible Packaging Options from Packman® 500

Packman® 500 provides users with a choice of two different packaging options. The in-line crash lock case erector makes it possible for the system to load product directly into Shelf Ready Packaging (SRP) allowing users to fulfil the growing demand for this type of packaging. The Tekpak case erector used in this system is the smallest, fully automatic, Shelf Ready crash lock unit on the market today. The “Easy-fill” case re-load system uses a long motorised magazine to reduce the frequency with which the system needs to be replenished. Control functionality for the case erector is delivered using an Allen Bradley PLC. The system is also configured for loading product directly to the in-feed of a secondary packaging flow wrapper to produce flow wrapped multipacks

Live - Remote Diagnostics

Remote networking and diagnostic facilities are provided using an IP camera, making it possible for Tekpak to provide remote technical support. Tekpak engineers can log into the control system and monitor the robot operating in real time. This capability not only reduces the time required to diagnose and repair but it is also a useful tool for production managers who may wish to log in from a remote desktop to observe the packaging process.
The system HMI on the Packman® 500 system can be programmed to provide management information based upon key performance indicators such as production throughput per minute / hour / shift and downtime / number of stoppages and resets etc.
The launch of the new Packman® 500 system is a clear demonstration of Tekpak’s commitment to the ongoing development of innovative robotic handling and packaging solutions for the food manufacturing sector.

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