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Case Packing System for Flexible, Stand-up & Lay-flat Pouches without Vacuum
Customer Challenge: Flexible Pouch Case Packer
Our customer had struggled with vacuum-head, pick-and-place case packers for their pillow and stand-up, flexible pouches packed in a flat-pack case orientation for years.
They were then tasked with adding the ability to pack stand-up pouches in a vertical case orientation while maintaining the current, flat-pack orientation in one case packing system capable of running at 150 bags per minute without vacuum.
Our challenge was to provide a new case packing system able
to package both pillow-style and stand-up flexible pouches in
both vertical AND flat pack orientations in an RSC case without
vacuum. After extensive engineering effort and testing, we found
New Case Packer Highlights
Run stand-up and pillow-style bags
Pack in vertical and flat pack case orientations
Able to adjust for multiple bag and case sizes
150 bags per minute
Case erector, packer and case sealer in one frame
Our customer had never found an adequate solution to keep the settled bags' form intact while picking and placing the bags into the case. Several of the products in the bags have coarse edges that will bridge and lock together in the bag.
The bags were settled and flattened after the vertical bagging machines and delivered to their current vacuum pick-and-place packers preconditioned for pick-up and packing. The use of vacuum, or even grippers, to pick the bag up would create a sag and lose the preconditioning of the bag. The product would bunch together and not settle back after being loaded into the case - which created high points and voids within the case. This resulted in bulges within the case that were problematic at the palletizer.
Our solution was centered on a pair of articulating SCARA robotic arms. These provided the ability to change out the end-of-arm tooling for the different case orientations. The tooling for both the flat and vertical case orientations do not pick the bag up at any point in the packing process.
Instead, the bags are received flat on the conveyor and the arms' movements create the case pattern prior to loading. These arms are synchronized and work in tandem to provide a continuous, bag pattern creation process. The servo driven arms enable them to wait until the predetermined bag counts are reached before descending into the case loading function and being replaced by the other SCARA arm to receive the bags.
The system can change from a lay flat configuration to a vertical stand-up configuration quickly. The end-of-arm toolings are simple snap on/off components. The majority of the changeover resides in the PLC receipt which is selected on the HMI. For lay-flat patterns the transition belt shifts for each bag to create the number of bag stacks required for that case pattern. This is programmable as needed. This also provides flexibility for future bag sizes, case patterns and counts that are not in the current matrix.
The onboard case erector and case sealer make this a space-conscious concept that eliminates the need for connecting conveyors and case handling. The system is a fully-contained case packing solution for flexible bags. It offers a highly flexible range of bag and cases sizes along with the ability to pack vertical or flat pack orientations.
TriVex SLi Case Packer Packs Stand-Up and Lay-Flat Pouches