Counting Down the Top 10 Articles of 2019 - #1: Robotic Lines Clear Peeps’ Automation Hurdles

Based on online clicks and unique page views, we're counting down the Top 10 articles of 2019. In the year's top article, we cover the popular Peeps brand on its journey from manual packing of a difficult product to an ultra-automated robotic line.

Peeps are loaded into trays by the JLS Talon robotic pick-and-place system, featuring ABB FlexPicker vision-guided robots and Soft Robotics gripper EOATs.
Peeps are loaded into trays by the JLS Talon robotic pick-and-place system, featuring ABB FlexPicker vision-guided robots and Soft Robotics gripper EOATs.

Produced in the billions, PEEPS® are so fragile and their packaging formats so varied that they resisted automation until a gentle but fast robotic pick and place primary packaging system solved a host of problems at once. Here's the article by Matt Reynolds from September 2019. 

As you’d likely guess, the Peeps brand is manufacturer Just Born's most well known—particularly the chick- and bunny-shaped marshmallow candies synonymous with the Easter holiday. Each year, Just Born produces 2 billion Peeps for all of the four major holidays. But Easter represents a majority of that total.

Things that are produced in the billions almost invariably require automation. But other than the most standardized, high-volume sellers, Peeps are both made and packaged in a wide enough variety of formats so as to have resisted packaging automation over the years. 

But with some innovative robotic wrangling, they recently were able to fully automate a line for a difficult-to-handle product. 

Here's how they did it...

Continue to the full article here

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