Recyclable Tray Container Handling System

Challenge: Mitigate labor risk due to the difficulty in finding reliable and quality operators to do this process manually. Costly and not meeting production demand.

Solution: The last step of a fully automated manufacturing line that handles to-go containers by picking them directly from a die punch machine to a bagging machine. This system features EOAT on an 80g payload 6-axis robot as well as change-out gripper fingers to process 10 different container sizes in 3up & 2up die configurations.

  • Utilizes an ATI tool changer for quick changeover between 2up and 3up EOAT units
  • Both EOAT units utilize a Schunk opposing ballscrew unit which allows one motor to drive two carriages symmetrically about a centerline. This allows us to account for different trays being punched out at different distances from the centerline of the die press.
  • Attached to each carriage is a Schunk pneumatic 90 degree rotary unit and a pneumatic gripper with 275lbf grip force
  • Different length fingers attach to the pneumatic grippers to account for different tray sizes

Other features of this system include a reject conveyor that takes scrap product from the die press and rejects it out of the safety guarding in order to be melted down. There is also a robot cell guarding with 2 entrances utilizing Keyence contact type safety interlocks. Operators can request samples, which are then placed to a separate conveyor. This allows them to inspect products without interrupting the automation.

This system increases throughput and improves overall efficiency. Supports quick changeover compared to the gantry-based solution. Recyclable containers support eco-conscious initiatives.

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