Secondary packaging of yogurt
The packaging of yogurt is not made any easier by complementary ingredients such as Crunchy Clusters which the end consumer adds according to personal taste. The ultra-nimble Stäubli FAST picker TP80 offers a well-known food brand a competitive edge in secondary packaging at its factory in Turkey.
In Turkey too, where food processing is an important sector of the economy, the demand for automation is soaring. Stäubli Robotics Turkey has been active in this industry for many years. System integrator 3E Industrial Automation and the Stäubli subsidiary in Turkey have collaborated on a pioneering project to take innovative solutions in secondary packaging to the next level.
The Danone production site for dairy products is where this is all taking place. The nature of the project was defined as follows: tubs of Crunchy Clusters and plastic spoons were to be affixed to the top of perforated twin packs of yogurt which had already been filled and sealed.
Up to 237 picks per minute
A time-consuming process previously carried out on a manual assembly line is now performed in record time by a Stäubli TP80 FAST picker. The yogurt twin packs and the tubs of Crunchy Clusters plus spoons arrive at the robot cell via two separate feed belts. Mounted alongside the conveyor belt, the FAST picker grabs two of the adhesive-coated complementary packs and places them on top of the twin yogurt pots.
The handling processes occur in fractions of a second – so fast that the human eye can barely keep up. The performance of the Stäubli TP80, which is equipped with a special vacuum gripper and receives the coordinates of the packaging elements via a high-speed visual recognition system, exceeds even the most ambitious expectations. With a measured top speed of 237 pick-and-place cycles per minute, it significantly outperforms the specified rate of 220.
The fact that this industrial robot more than matched factory performance data supplied by Stäubli under real production conditions – and this despite operating on Class NSF H1 food-grade lubricant – was a minor sensation for everyone involved. It has to be borne in mind that the FAST picker replaces two Delta robots in this application and consequently redefines the whole concep