Why Robots and Cobots are becoming a must-have addition to your packaging line

Why Robots and cobots are a must have addition to your packaging lineWhy Robots and cobots are a must have addition to your packaging line

There is a quiet revolution taking place in factories and production plants worldwide – the growth in adoption of robotics. In 2021 alone, the number of robots working in factories grew by 10% globally, to 3 million (World Robotics Industrial Robots report, 2021).

Furthermore in terms of new robot installations, 2020 was the third most successful year in history for the robotics industry (384,000 units shipped) and installations are projected to reach the landmark figure of 500,000 units per year in 2024.

So why are manufacturers increasingly opting for machinery which incorporates the latest robotic systems?

Are robotics becoming more affordable?

As advancements in robot production are made, the technology itself has become more affordable. This, coupled with the fact that robots are becoming increasingly easy to operate and integrate within existing lines is also driving adoption among smaller companies. A greater awareness of the gains in productivity that robotics can bring to a production facility is making robot-integrated machinery far more appealing to manufacturers across sectors.

Do robotics give manufacturers a competitive advantage?

Faced with a barrage of external pressures, from supply shortages to increased utilities costs, manufacturers are looking for creative ways to gain an edge over the competition. Robots are generally able to complete tasks faster and more efficiently than humans – allowing workers to be deployed on more skill-dependent tasks. Integrating robotics within packaging machinery, for example, can enhance accuracy and allow for a wider range of products to be handled by the same automated line  – generating huge savings on change parts and manpower.

Do robotics offer manufacturers increased flexibility?

Robotics are no longer reserved for a niche set of high-tech sectors. Now, palletizing assembly, welding, parts transfer and even painting are among the most popular applications for robotics across a broad range of industry sectors. The development of Cobots (collaborative robots) that safely work alongside human operatives provide a ‘gateway’ solution for those looking to test the waters. Ultimately whatever you are producing, reliability, accuracy, safety and reduced costs matter – and robots are delivering on all fronts. 

How does Shemesh use robotics to give customers a competitive edge?

Shemesh has incorporated robotics throughout its range of packaging machinery to enhance accuracy, increase flexibility and generate savings for its customers. 

These robotic enhancements are increasingly vital to manufacturers across multiple sectors because of:

  • Increasingly complex container designs
  • The need for modern production lines to cope with constant format changes
  • Increased demand for products that require delicate handling

Here are some of the highlights within our range of robotics-enhanced machinery: 

ATTILUS Continuous Motion Trigger Pump and Screw Capper 

ATTILUS utilizes the latest robotic technology to enable higher speeds, enhanced accuracy and unprecedented flexibility  in automatic caps, pumps and triggers sorting.

A Robotic Sorter based on Delta Robot and an advanced vision system allows the ATTILUS to sort and orientate caps from the most complex screw tops to trigger and pump caps.

Also, the ATTILUS utilizes a servo-controlled pick & place Cartesian Robotic Arm (gantry two axis robot) to track and deliver the caps to the bottles while in motion, ensuring smoother and faster production.

The ATTILUS operates at up to 80ppm and includes bottle tracking and a synchronized gantry robot based on encoders and servos. Its integrated Siemens/AB PLC & HMI puts the operator in complete control, allowing simple programming – changing formats and course of movement at the touch of a button. The Robotic enhancement of the ATTILUS also ensures changeover downtime is kept to a minimum (under 20 minutes).

ETNA multi bottle shape robotic feeder & orienting system featuring an ABB/FANUC spider robot

ETNA uses an ABB/FANUC spider robot to provide precise bottle orientation, covering virtually all bottle types across all major market sectors. The robotic elements ensure no change parts are required (except in some cases for the robot grippers) when unscrambling multiple different bottle shapes. This results in much less downtime and a huge reduction in format parts costs across time. The benefits of adding ETNA to your line include:

  • Tools-free format changes at the touch of a button: Switch bottle formats instantly with a simple press of your PLC buttons.
  • Small footprint: Shemesh recognises the importance of saving valuable floorspace for its customers. ETNA is one of the most compact unscramblers on the market today.
  • One Machine – Multiple Formats: Unscrambles small or large containers in different shapes and materials without making mechanical adjustments to the equipment.
  • Ultra-fast: ETNA operates accurately at high speeds, with guaranteed container stability. More than one robot can be configured, depending on the required speed.
  • Easy Operation, Minimal Maintenance: Because ETNA’s robotics allow for less complex mechanics, ETNA requires almost no maintenance and no skilled employee to operate it.
  • Works with or without Pucks: For even more complex lines with asymmetric containers requiring orientation, ETNA allows products to be arranged in multiple modular configurations which can be positioned on all types of puck or godet lines.
  • The softest touch: The advanced robotics built into ETNA means no mechanical parts will cause marking or damage to even the most delicate products.
  • Adapts to new formats: Because ETNA does not require or complex programming or tools for changeover, it can quickly and cost-effectively adapt to the introduction of new product formats.  
  • No more downtime: ETNA’s robotics work continuously, guaranteeing the stability of the containers and preventing line stoppages.

RELENTLESS & APPOLON – Precision end-of-line solutions featuring the latest robotic technology

End-of-line solutions will provide many packaging company’s’ first foray into robotics. Shemesh’s RELENTLESS Form-Fill-Seal Case Packer and APPOLON Palletizer utilize proprietary robotic vacuum grippers developed by Shemesh’s expert robotics engineers. The robotic vacuum grippers can easily be adjusted to new product or carton sizes – which gives customers an advantage over competitors using the standard C shaped mechanical grippers, for example, which are not as flexible as they may need additional setup parts to switch between products.

The APPLON palletizer itself, in addition to the proprietary vacuum grippers, has a FANUC robotic base with an adjustable 3.1 m reach and a 125 Kg payload, providing customers with a high-performance seamless end-to-end solution. 

This is only the beginning…

Shemesh never stops innovating and robotics continues to be integrated into existing and new machinery within its range in order to provide customers with that all-important competitive edge. Contact us today for a consultation on how the latest in robotic technology could enhance your production line.