Several packaging machinery OEMs have introduced new solutions this past year that incorporate new heavier-payload, longer-reach cobots into a dedicated palletizing systems. One such company is ONExia, with its second-generation PalletizUR, the PalletizUR 2.0, which can handle case weights of approximately 20 kg using Universal Robot’s UR20 cobot arm. Emphasizes the company, the PallezUR 2.0 is not a kit. Every palletizer application is reviewed by ONExia’s engineers and is delivered with all the conveyors and grippers needed for a collaborative robot cell.
According the company, the PalletizUR 2.0 can handle virtually any size case using the company’s robotics palletizing software, with no programming required. The cobot is controlled through a single touchscreen, which ONExia says provides a simplified user experience for daily operators. To add or edit pallet configurations, boxes are positioned using the drag-and-drop interface with advanced features built-in, including conveyor control, label orientation, and slip-sheet layer placement.
Says Greg Selke, chief executive officer of ONExia, “This is the easiest robot install our customers will ever have. Many in fact do not require any startup support from us when deploying additional palletizers to other lines in their facilities.”
As with all cobots, the PalletizUR 2.0 requires no caging or guarding to operate; it is third-party verified to meet the ANSI and RIA industry standards for collaborative robot safety.
Sidel’s new palletizer, the RoboAccess_Pal S was designed to bring the benefits of cobots to palletizing operations for customers in the food, home, and personal care markets. Says the company, “With the introduction of cobotics in palletizing, Sidel has been able to answer the growing market demand for very compact and affordable cells, which generally replace manual operations. For more demanding lines, where robotic arms could offer higher technical performances, Sidel has drawn on its 50-plus years of palletizing expertise to create an all-in-one solution that combines a small footprint, a fast return on investment, and a higher case payload and speed.”
The new palletizer operates at 12 cycles/min and can handle case weights up to 25 kg, with an ROI of one to two years. The machine footprint measures less than 40 sq ft for two stations and has a pallet height of approximately 5.6 ft. Embedded in the machine are three new patented features: a light-weighted carbon fiber and 3D-printed clamping head that helps lighten the tooling weight to increase the case/pack payload, a folding guarding system that ensures movable plug-and-play capabilities, and a mobile physical curtain that guarantees the operator’s protection during pallet supply and removal.
|Read related story, “White Castle’s Robotic Path to Packaging Automation.”
Recently introduced in a soon-to-be available 25-kg-payload version, Techman Robot’s TM AI Cobot series combines a precise robot arm with a native AI inferencing engine and a smart vision system in a complete package, ready for deployment. Says Techman, “TM AI Cobot works on the principle of being smart, simple, and safe. By combining visual processing in the robot arm, the AI Cobot can perform fast and precise pick and place, AMR [autonomus mobile robots], palletizing, welding, semi-conductor and product manufacturing, AOI [automated optical inspections], and foodservice preparation, among many other applications that can be accelerated by AI-Vision.”
According to Techman, the AI Cobot is the only intelligent robotic arm series on the market that comes with a comprehensive AI software suite. It includes the TM AI+ Training Server software tool, designed to help users manage image data, set up AI training parameters, and train AI models; TM AI+ AOI Edge, a smart function software that allows customers to deploy TMvision to all required areas in the plant; TM Image Manager quality tracking software; and TM 3DVision, which includes 3D vision software and a 3D camera. Together, these software programs allow users to train and tailor their system to meet their specific application. PW
|Read Packaging World’s complete robotics report, “Robots 2023: Smarter, More Adaptable & More Robust.”