At Starview Packaging’s Booth N-5728 one emphasis was on the kind of comprehensive automation that can be brought to a rotary blister packaging system by integrating additional packaging machinery functions. Think robotic product loading, laser coding, and 100% code inspection.
“The demand for automation is higher than ever,” said Director of Sales and Marketing Rob van Gilse, “mostly because customers don’t want to first look for and then rely on people to perform packaging tasks. So customers who were running semi-automatic want to go automatic, and the ones who were already pretty automated want to go further by adding robotic feeding of products, for example, or automated vision inspection.”
A good example of the kind of system van Gilse is talking about is the Model BSC 18-1418, a rotary blister packing machine with 18 stations with a rated speed of about 18 cycles/min. The sequence of operation is picking and placing of paperboard front card, insertion of clear blister into card, robotic product loading thanks to a Mitsubishi Robot RV-FR Series 6-axis robot, then placement of the paperboard backing card. But also integrated into the system is a Videojet Xtract Pro Laser Marking System that adds tracking data by lot number and date, and a Keyence OCR Vision System with CV-X322F SR-2000 Code Reader that checks the bar code on the back card to verify that all materials are correct. As for controls integration, that comes courtesy of Omron. According to van Gilse, the 6-axis articulated robotic arm is a high-speed durable component that can address a variety of customer needs, which makes it ideal for packaging applications. He added that the system on display at PACK EXPO is headed for a maker of medical devices.