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Fleetguard's robotic line

PACK EXPO : Pro Mach's booth featured a highly automated operating line that's set to go into Fleetguard in December 2005. See video
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FILED IN:  Machinery  > Case packing
     

Pro Mach's integrated nine-division capability as one of the largest single-source providers of packaging solutions in North America was highlighted at the Pack Expo Las Vegas tradeshow September 26-28 (see Pro Mach's integrated solution published September 28). Showcased and in operation in its expansive booth was the actual packaging line that will be installed in December 2005 at Nashville TN-based Fleetguard Inc. a leading provider of industrial filtration products. Pro Mach is the single source provider for the highly automated new line used to case label and palletize Fleetguard's wide range of industrial oil filters.

Packaging World learned that the equipment had not been preassembled but was installed together as a complete line for the first time at the show.

Fleetguard's challenge

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Fleetguard had required packaging for more than 100 stock-keeping units and turned to Pro Mach Inc. for a "packaged" solution. Fleetguard needed a comprehensive end-of-line packaging system designed to meet their needs in a timely cost effective manner. The company did not want a time-consuming process involving several manufacturers attempting to integrate with other machines on the line one at a time.

Space constraints also limited the amount of square footage that could be dedicated to a new automated end-of-line packaging system. The Fleetguard industrial filters being packaged range in height from 6" to 12" in diameter from 3.8" to 4.7" and in weight from an average of 2 to 5.3 lb per filter. The filters are either case or bulk packed and require a nesting pattern of packaging so that the filter seams will stack uniformly without damaging the seam or filter.

Brenton Engineering Corp. a division of Pro Mach’s end-of-line packaging companies designed an automated robotic packaging cell capable of both case and loose bulk packing out of the same automated packaging cell. It features not one but two Fanuc robots one for case loading and one for palletizing. The system also integrates equipment from other divisions of Pro Mach including Wexxar Belcor and ID Technology.

The new automated packaging cell is earmarked for space formerly occupied by just one manual case erector and one manual case sealer at Fleetguard.

Line details

The line set up starts with a Wexxar 615T Case Erector that uses a 12' supply magazine for longer run time between replenishment. It can run HSC or RSC cases. Erecting cases at a rate of just more than eight cases per minute the cases descend a discharge chute onto a conveyor leading to the case packing robot.

The empty case conveyor transports empty cases to the caseload station next to the Belcor 252 Top Sealer. The Brenton-manufactured conveyor is a 7"-wide tabletop conveyor driven by an AC motor that runs at a speed of 60' per minute.

Arriving at the case load station the leading empty case is stopped by an air cylinder. Once the case is in position a set of overhead funnels drops into the case to open the flaps for easier product loading.