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Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Copyright © 2011, Emerald Group Publishing Limited
Sizzling performance for sausage-packing line
Article Type: Mini features From: Industrial Robot: An International Journal, Volume 38, Issue 2
Unilever has transformed its manual packing of a range of smoked sausages with a high-speed automated packaging system from Schubert.
The line is being used to pack a selection of product sizes ranging from 227 to 375 g and is fully integrated with a thermoforming machine at Unilever’s factory at Oss in The Netherlands.
The system features a pair of high-performance, Schubert TLM-F4 robot arms, which are equipped with a set of specially designed suction grippers to aid the rapid pick-and-place process (Figure 2).
Schubert developed the grippers so that they are able to delicately draw the sausage ring closer together, ensuring a snug fit when it is placed in the vacuum-formed packaging.
In addition, the automated packaging system specialist has produced the robot arms in stainless steel to match the machine frame, making it easy for the daily wash-down operation.
Elsewhere on the line, Schubert has incorporated its latest generation vision system for quality control purposes. It means any damaged or misshapen sausages are automatically rejected prior to the packing process.
Schubert has recognised the growing demand for integrating a thermoforming application within its automated packing lines and has launched a dedicated thermoforming machine.
The TLM-T800 processes all types of thermoformable packaging polymers and has a maximum output of 20 cycles a minute at a drawing depth of up to 80 mm. It is equipped with a number of features including two thermoforming areas, automatic roll change facility for the pair of 400-mm film webs, a quality mark imprinting system and an ultrasound sealing and punching device.
A series of TLM-F44 robotic packing stations, with each unit capable of packing up to 220 items every 60 s, are used to rapidly pick and place a vast range of individually pieced products in thermoformed trays. Schubert claims the TLM-T800 has a maximum filling output of around 3,300 products a minute with the highest upgrade configuration of 15 packing stations.
“Schubert packaging machines can now be used for thermoforming plastic film, making them among the most flexible packing systems on the market,” commented David Maddern, Schubert UK’s Sales Director.
For more information, please visit: www.schubert-uk.co.uk