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Innovative New Robotics at PACK EXPO

PMG editors fanned out across PACK EXPO Las Vegas 2023 in search of packaging innovation. Here's what they found in Robotics.

Columbia/Okura
Columbia/Okura

Robotics wasn't the only area of interest at PACK EXPO. Click the links that follow to read more about innovations in:  Cartoning  |  Case and Tray Packing  |  Coding and Marking  |  Conveyors and Material Handling  |  Inspection and Detection  |  Labeling  |  Form/Fill/Seal  |  Food Processing & Packaging  |  Sustainable Packaging  |  Pharma  |  Controls

The lines between standard and collaborative robots continue to blur, as the former cedes territory to the latter in favor of cobots’ flexibility and versatility.

One good example of this trend debuted at PACK EXPO Las Vegas. The miniPAL+ 36 is Columbia/Okura's latest collaborative palletizing solution, and it has a heavier than typical payload for cobots. The system uses Universal Robot's UR20 cobot arm to provide a 44-lb (20-kg) lifting capacity, enabling heavy payloads at higher rates than previous collaborative systems. Also, flexible tooling allows for multi-pick options, and the system is designed to occupy a compact 10- x 11-ft footprint. The user-friendly software that allows for intuitive pattern building is created by Columbia/Okura’s partners at Rocketfarm.

“With this robotic cell, we had safety in mind. Safety was really paramount. So we’ve incorporated features into this robot that put safety at the forefront,” said Columbia/Okura’s Michael Stuyvesant at the show.

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