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CRG Automation collaborates on robotic case packing and palletizing.
We wanted to be able to standardize the robotics, although we knew we would have to change some things like the end-arm-tooling, collating, and infeed configurations because some products are in traditional cases, some are in display cases, the size of products varies greatly, and the case counts vary greatly. So, we were looking for that type of flexibility for the long run.”
Also important was ease of operation—for programming and changeover as well as for identifying problems. “We needed a system that could easily tell the operator when they had a problem, with straightforward diagnostics,” says Busken.
For case packing on the baby wipes line, Rockline chose two five-axis Yaskawa Motoman MPL80 robots, supplied by CRG Technologies. The company found that the system offered the flexibility of using one robot for its lines running smaller packs at slower speeds or two robots for its high-speed lines. “We also chose to go with an engineering group that was an integrator, one that had a background with Yaskawa and also had individuals who could build end-of-arm tooling that would work with our products,” Busken adds.
The case-packing robots on the baby wipes line use pneumatic gripper-style EOATs and feature dynamic-pitch custom tooling designed to pick multiple flow-wrapped packs for multiple case packs per pick cycle. Explains Rockline Senior Electrical Engineer Brad Swift, “After the end-of-arm tool picks up the products, it spaces them out to be loaded into the cases, since the cases are a little farther apart than the products when they are picked up by the gripper.”