Del Monte's robotic system from Blueprint Automation (www.blueprintautomation.com) collates and loads the Meow Mix pouches into corrugated cases. Pouches are collated at the infeed by a "smart conveyor" and loaded six-at-a-time by the robot's customized, pneumatic end effector into an awaiting pair of cases at a rate of three pouches/case/cycle. Another set of six pouches is loaded into the cases at a 180° angle to the first set before the 6-count pair of cases are released from the loading position. An arm then pushes each case onto a right-angle takeaway conveyor for downstream operations.
Read the accompanying feature, Del Monte pounces on Meow Mix pouch line, in the September 2008 issue of Packaging World