“Hands off the product”
The Robotik-Pack-Line at the joint stand in Hall 3 shows how the cooperation between large corporations and small and medium-sized specialist companies can lead to new projects. At the same time, it demonstrates the synthesis of robotics and automation in production processes.
Inspiration through cooperation also works in packaging machine construction. This can be seen at the joint stand in FachPack’s Hall 3. Ten companies in the Robotik-Pack-Line team will be demonstrating a fully automated process for packaging food. This year, thermoformed plastic trays will be filled, sealed, inspected, labelled, end-packed and palletised with gingerbread pre-packed in flow bags. Robots insert the products into the trays, a Sealpac tray sealing machine seals the trays. The individual trays are then labelled and checked for leaks. More handling robots pack the individual packages into cartons and stack the cartons on pallets. Thanks to its modular design, the Robotik-Pack-Line can be individually configured.
The general contractor for the Robotik-Pack-Line is mworks GmbH. “We fit the individual machine parts of the line together to form a functioning whole. In this way, we relieve the users of the time-consuming coordination of the interfaces,” says mworks Managing Director Lars Kobalka. The main reasons for using robots are reduction of personnel costs and hygiene aspects. Rolf Peters, Managing Director of Robotik-Pack-Line, sums up the USP as follows: “Hands off the product”, giving high product safety for consumers and reducing costs through energy efficiency for manufacturers in the food industry.
Systems such as the Robotik-Pack-Line are ideally suited for packaging meat, sausage products, fish and cheese, as well as dry products such as gingerbread. At the trade fair, only thermoformed trays run through the line. Individual machine parts such as the leak testing station could also check flow bags, coffee capsules and metal cans in a film chamber. At the end of the line, Akon Robotics presented a world first: a robot that can load plastic small load carrier crates with directly printed label plates on a full pallet.
Concrete projects of the Robotik-Pack-Line are handled by the consortium. “We have already delivered a number of machines whose ideas were developed at trade fairs. In some cases, customer enquiries are already being worked out at the trade fair. Currently we have a concrete inquiry from a food manufacturer in the field of vegan replacement products”, said Rolf Peters.