6 Mar. 2020
6 Mar. 2020
An Overview - Robotics Packaging
The application horizon of robotics packaging in food industry is on rise due to the technological advancements to an incredible extent. Robots have the potential to transform the processes in food processing and handling, packing, palletizing and food serving. Due to the major reason, recent years witnesses enormously increased trend of robots deployment in food sector.
Furthermore, robotics have become an integral part of industries these days as they are incorporated with benefits such as enhanced operational efficiency, reduction in material movements and vehicle activity and reduced in-progress stages.
Robotics packaging solutions are used for higher production volume by food manufacturing and processing companies. Robots are being used to process, pack food products. For instance, various robot systems are used in meat processing, to detect the final product of bakery items. And, in beverages industry, bottles are cleaned, counted, filled and arranged on a conveyer belt automatically via robotic machines.
Additionally, food industry manufacturers have noticed an increase in productivity of 25% after employing robotics as compared to the work done by a human chain.
Packaging robot market can be segmented on the basis of application, output, product type, and end-use industry. Based on the type of product, packaging, different kinds of robots such as six-axis, four-axis, SCARA, gantry, and delta are used.
And, on the basis of application, it can be categorized into de-palletizing or palletizing, cartooning, labeling, case/tray packing, inspection or detection and conveying or placing. Conveying or placing can be further segregated into cross belt, collation, parallel or inline.
Robotic Packaging - Global Market Size & Growth
According to 'Research and Markets' report, the global robot packaging market is expected to reach US$4,649 million by 2023, with a CAGR of 13.9% from 2017 to 2023.
The need for robotic packaging systems is on rise in food and beverage, e-commerce, healthcare, and logistics industries. These systems help to increase efficiency and is driven by the growth in industrialization.
Owing to advanced sensing and software, these systems are getting smarter and hence demonstrate high adeptness at handling various products.
Classification of robots in food industry
Robots in food industry are majorly used handling, packing and palletizing and for food serving applications.
a) Pick and Place
Deploying robots in food industry became a major trend. Examples of robots to pick and place the products are ABB IRB-660 and IRB-360.
The former is a serial robot used for high demanding payload transfer while the latter is based on PKM mechanism (ABB, 2007) and is designed for high-capacity collating, picking and placing of products onto trays, cartons or feeding of other machinery.
b) Packing and palletizing robots
Packing and palletizing robots are used based on the payload specifications and the range of speeds available.
Palletizing of cookies, beverages, pasta, sweets and other items are now stacked using the robots For example, a typical solution allows the production of 900 bags (of 20 Kg each) per hour and then stack them in order to minimize the freight costs.
c) Serving robots
Food serving through the robots is the newest approach of robots use in food industry. The major purpose of these robots is to deliver meals and drinks to customers at hotels and airport lounges quickly and efficiently.
Advantages of Deploying Robotic Packaging :
Deploying the robot packaging in the food industry helps to:
Key benefits of robotics over traditional in food packaging include:
Robot vs. Conventional
Traditional Horizontal Loader & Palletizer
– More Cost
– More Footprint
– More Maintenance
– More Failure Opportunities
Robotic Loading & Robotic Palletizing
– 20% Less Cost
– 15% Less Footprint
– ≈ 90% Less Maintenance
– ≈10x Less Failure Opportunities
Best Buying Guide for Industrial Robotic Packaging
10 Things to Look for When Choosing a Robot for Food packaging
When choosing a robot, here are ten important things to look for:
1) Experienced and Quality Manufacturer/Supplier: While buying a robot for food packaging, look for a manufacturer/supplier who has reputation as an industry leader and whose robots have the best operational time.
2) Documented MTBF: Robots must be capable to operate two or three shifts per day besides being reliable. Manufacturers who stand behind their robots’ reliability will be happy to deliver documentation of their mean time between failures (MTBF).
3) High maximum allowable moment of inertia: Look for a robot with a high maximum allowable moment of inertia, which is the measure of how much force it can exert.
If a robot has the higher maximum allowable moment of inertia, the more easily the robot can lift and move a given size of payload. It helps to put the less strain on its motors that results in a longer working life.
4) Continuous-duty cycle time: The robot will have to operate at a slower speed in normal operation.
5) Efficient, compact robot design: Robots containing a compact robot design makes integration easier. Designs with concealed air and electrical lines help to reduce overall costs.
6) Robot controller features: If you are looking for a robot, it must have desirable features such as small size, weight, fast processing speed, modular expandability, ease of integration with a vision system, PLC or other devices, and ease of servicing.
7) Affordable offline programming software: Make sure the offline programming software is not expensive, and the robot must have advanced features.
8) Low energy consumption: Look for the robot's energy consumption. Efficiently designed, lightweight robot arms require less power, so their motors draw less electrical current. This can result in significant long-term cost-savings.
9) Safety codes: Verify that the robot must meet or exceed all current safety codes.
10) Short Training: Ask about the length of required training. Unnecessarily long training can result in excessive unproductive employee time and travel costs.