Recyclable Tray Container Handling System

Challenge: One of our customers in the Consumer Goods Industry needed to 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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