A major manufacturer of ice cream cones was planning a plant expansion, including the addition of a large warehouse space and wished to centrally build homogeneous pallets of products received at random from multiple production line ovens in this new space.
They had 8 manual palletizing points throughout the plant located near the main cone production and packaging areas and wanted to automatically feed all cased products from those multiple areas via conveyor to the new centralized palletizing area.
AIDCO International designed a system of elevator and belt conveyors located at specific production lines to transport randomly received cases to a FlowStar orientation and accumulation conveyor and past a bar code scanner. This identification of the product allowed the cases to be diverted into individual conveyor “slot locations” and this staged product picked up by a AIDCO RoboticStar® vacuum cup EOAT wielded by a AIDCO RoboticStar® robot, whose base is connected to a 18 meter long GÜDEL linear slide TM-72.
The robot moves along the linear slide to one of a series of target pallets and moves again along the slide to place the product per pre-received orders and in a specific pallet pattern on the pallet. The process is repeated, with the robot moving along the slide to various slot locations and then moving to the correct pallet zone and picking and placing product until a particular pallet is full. The pallet is automatically discharged by conveyor out of that palletizing zone to a stretch wrapping zone and the robot picks and places another empty pallet in the zone, where the process is repeated.
Scope of supply
18 meter long GÜDEL TM 72 one axis track motion module.
Automation of a former hand palletizing distributed process, where two people were building each pallet manually, resulted in increased throughput speed, reduced labor costs and an increased pallet density, with less product damage prior to shipping.