Oystar A+F: the ultimate tray packing robot?

It's actually quite compact, seeing as it replaces 4 separate machines and the conveyors connecting them. But massive is still the best description for the three twin-delta robot arms running Oystar A+F's SetLine end-of-line packaging system. Mounted on top, the big ELAU servo motors powering the robots could be seen from aisles away.

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SetLine is designed to pack various shapes and sizes of single cups, cup sets and bottles into trays or cases, with the ability to sleeve the primary packages into multipacks. Quick-change format parts are provided for the different cup types and sizes.

The modular design can stand alone or be directly integrated with a filling machine and tray erector.

The end result is a ballet of continuous motions at rates up to 30,000 bottles or 43,000 cups per hour, with a range of pack patterns and sleeve configurations possible.

In the interpack demonstration, SetLine created 4-flavor rainbow packs from single flavor packs diverted from their respective fillers at up to 500 trays per hour.

How the rainbow packing process works

Product in trays or cases is fed onto 4 gravity roller conveyors which provide an infeed as well as a buffer. A driven roller section separates the trays or cases. A robot places the trays into the carrier chain and indexes them into the re-pack position.

Product is removed from each of the 4 trays by servo-driven de-packing grippers on the pick & place robot and automatically spaced to the corresponding pitch of the target trays. The assorted cups are deposited onto a positioning plate in the correct pack pattern.

The robot is equally capable of packing assorted trays from single-product trays or packing single-products trays from mixed trays.

But first, sleeving is performed by a robot that takes sleeves from magazines and places them in a transport carriage. At the sleeving station, the cups are removed from the gripper plate and placed into the U-shaped sleeves in the transport carriage.

In parallel, empty trays are fed to the SetLine from a case erector. A gating system cycles the trays to the loading station where a third robot packs the sleeved sets.

A top flap closing unit is swivel mounted to clear the transport carriages. A transfer gripper uses actuators to ensure that the sleeved sets are accurately spaced prior to being tray or case packed.
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