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Robots take over interpack 2005

A glimpse at some of the innovative new packaging machines introduced at the2005 interpack show.
FILED IN:  Controls  > Strategy
Cartesio is Cavanna's new system concept for using robotics in packaging. 
At Interpack, Cartesio will be demonstrated in a fullPester's pac robot 3Waechter's Delta PickerSOMIC's robotic packerMohrbach's Interpack booth

Robotics and modularity are key trends at interpack shows

Increasingly packaging machinery OEMs in Europe have turned to ELAU’s robotic software library to develop robotic functionality for secondary packaging applications. The result is a very modular flexible design. Here are just a few of the show’s highlights.

Cavanna: robotic cartoner

Cavanna’s Cartesio robotic division demonstrated its new vertical cartoning concept for candy energy and cereal bars the G35. A robotic island consisting of three robotic arms streamlines display carton forming transfer product collation and closing along with a patented product insertion device.

G35 enables tight integration with the upstream flow wrapper and a presents a compact space-saving footprint. Quick changeovers are supported by servo-automated belt adjustments that eliminate change parts and fine tuning.

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Despite the kinematics required to run three separate 3-axis robot arms a single PacDrive C400 automation controller from ELAU controls all them all as well as the servos driving the machine functions.

Pester’s new pac robots

pester pac automation debuted two new robots. Pester known for its pharmaceutical end-of-line packaging expertise is creating a new range of applications in cosmetic and food packaging for which these robots are equally well suited.

The two-axis 300 bottle per minute pick-and-place pac robot 3 with 30 kg payload capacity was demonstrated at Interpack in a PEWO-pack 450 Compact film wrapper picking up and turning 6 packs of cosmetic bottles for presentation to the wrapper.

A pac robot 4 with three conventional servo axes and a linear motor was applied downstream of a thermoforming machine typical of medical products or fresh food packaging applications. The robot has a cycle rate of up to 100 cpm and payload of 800 grams.

Both robots are controlled by a single ELAU PacDrive C400 automation controller. In the case of the pac robot 3 it’s the same controller that runs the wrapper. There is no “black box” robot controller hardware with proprietary software – instead control is performed by an IEC 61131-3 conforming Function Block from ELAU’s robotic software library.

Waechter’s delta picker and case erector

Waechter introduced a new family of case erecting and pick-and-place modules using ELAU’s PacDrive servo technology to handle a wide range of formats without expensive change parts.

Mechanically the new 30 cpm Tablomat C case erector design is compact modular and mechanically simplified with all processes integrated on one level. Flap tuckers are servo driven and much easier to optimize than gearbox driven designs. Format changes are also servo-driven and require no expensive change parts all part of Waechter’s design philosophy of reducing its customers’ operating costs.

The 2-axis Delta Picker is a flexible and highly dynamic alternative to conventional linear pick-and-place systems that can traverse up to 60 complete circles per minute. Its powerful kinematics leverage ELAU’s extensive PacDrive robotic software library so profiles are readily generated to handle a range of products formats and both single and multilayer packaging configurations. The Delta Picker is easily synchronized to other servo driven infeeds conveyors and sortation systems.


Waechter is represented in North America by Stiles Machinery Inc. of Grand Rapids Michigan.

Somic’s modular wrap-around packer

SOMIC launched the modular WA 414-w/3 wrap-around packer for display cartons folding boxes and trays. Highly adaptable it is a universal design that’s being used to pack metal cans pouches candy bars and more.

All collating cartoning and sealing processes are performed on one working level to aid operation and visual troubleshooting. Four robotic modules are mounted overhead to maximize freedom of movement and minimize footprint.

The robots can handle an infinitely variable range of package formats. A range of turning and gripping solutions offers precise gentle product handling. Dual servos on grouping belts adjust the distance between lugs automatically for tool-less format changes.

This highly flexible packer is equipped with 14 servo axes controlled by ELAU’s PacDrive automation system which performs all feeding changeover and robotic functions. The unit demonstrated at Interpack is capable of packing over 500 candy bars per minute.

There are no chains to lubricate or adjust. Instead toothed belts and powerful high speed vacuum belts are used to transport primary packages blanks and filled packs. Instead of a chain system with paddles one-clamp cart-mounted quick change collation units are set up to handle popular multiples.

Mohrbach’s new box erector

Mohrbach introduced a new high-speed case erector that can run up to 30 cycles per minute compared to 20 cpm for conventional designs.

The manufacturer of erecting filling and closing solutions also introduced the new single station Model MKV 550 that can erect over 120 cartons per minute. Previously this speed required much larger footprint dual station machines.

A continuous motion vertical carton filling module uses a no-touch gentle handling method as an alternative to pick and place for sensitive products.

These Mohrbach designs all use ELAU’s PacDrive automation systems for integrated control.

About ELAU

ELAU equips over $1 billion worth of the world’s best machines annually with over 20 PacDrive systems already deployed in packaging machinery worldwide. PacDrive is the first truly integrated automation architecture capable of performing the functions of PLC motion control robotics temperature control PLS MES data interface and more in a single standards-based software environment.

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