Although automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and automated guided carts (AGCs) have been in the market for more than 40 years, a renewed interest has emerged in “true robotic systems” that consistently and predictably transport loads of materials to places that might otherwise be serviced by manually driven forklift trucks, conveyors or manual cart transport, experts say.
“Interest is soaring,” says Laura McConney, marketing coordinator at JBT Corp., Chalfont, Pa. “Customers no longer wonder whether they should install AGVs. They know they need them and just want to develop the best implementation plan. Customers are well beyond considering beta site testing and have moved onto enterprise-wide deployments.
At Pack Expo in Chicago, A-B-C Packaging Machine Corp. introduced its new 700 series robot palletizers utilizing a Yaskawa robot arm. The 700 series palletizes cases, trays or bags in multiple configurations at speeds as fast as 30 cycles a minute, the company says.
“Danger, danger, Will Robinson” was a phrase that the robot frequently uttered to the youngest member of the Robinson family during the mid-1960s TV show “Lost in Space,” about a family whose spaceship crash lands on an alien planet. Although the robots in today’s beverage plants do not display human emotions, robotic systems increasingly are being used in beverage operations to speed up bottling, packing and distribution efforts.
Equipment suppliers continue to release new innovations in packaging. Douglas Machine Inc. offers a robotic TriVex Sl/Sli top load case packer, while Standard-Knapp Inc. unveiled its new packaging machine for the craft beer industry.
In this video, Tree Top, an agricultural cooperative with eight processing facilities, installed robotics to its packaging line. Director of Engineering Andy Juarez discusses how robotics helped improve the packaging lines and what challenges come with adding automation to their facilities.
Suppliers highlights case packing and sealing, labeling capabilities and much more
November 16, 2015
Reston, Va.-based PMMI, The Association for Packaging and Processing Technologies, reported that the 20th anniversary of its Pack Expo Las Vegas tradeshow not only was a milestone event, but it also was a record-breaker.
In Styx’s 1983 hit “Mr. Roboto,” the band sings, “Thank you very much, Mr. Roboto; For doing the jobs that nobody wants to.” Little did the band know, robots eventually would take on an immense amount of jobs that warehouse workers find repetitive and boring.