Two uniquely different cases show how an adept system integrator can build customized equipment and lines not available off the shelf
Increasing production speed while keeping rejects low and quality consistent—and maintaining food safety—is the goal of every food and beverage processor. Today, many food processors look toward automation to provide the solutions needed to attain the necessary throughput to be competitive.
Problem is, while processors can buy off-the-shelf equipment to tackle a variety of automation applications, orchestrating all this equipment to tackle the job from start to finish can eat up a lot of engineering time.
In this article two food processors—one with an existing facility and one with a new plant—needed production lines designed, built and completed as quickly as possible. Both called upon Rapid Development Services (RDS) to evaluate their projects and come up with an automated solution (including robotics). Both projects included novel inventions to accomplish their respective projects.
Changeover time was critical and Gurevich reports, “The system exceeded customer’s requirements, to have a change over time of less than 15 minutes.” The design had universal tooling and programming, allowing seamless conversion from one size bag product to another without mechanical changes.
The application required new solutions in several areas, says Gurevich, which included:
- New technology was developed for staging and presentation of multiple bags for robotic pick up. The bags could be picked up and stacked side by side in the direction of its length or width.
- New technology was developed for a universal no-change end effector capable of reliably holding multiple size bags (8 sizes) from 2 lbs to 50 lbs per bag.
- New technology was developed for robotically erecting 48-in. tall full pallet size and half pallet size Gaylord.