Machine Produces Variety Packs

Compact, automated system runs 100+ cases/min.

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Consumer demand for variety packs continues stronger than ever, but assembling custom variety packs is such a disruptive, labor-intensive process, the task often is outsourced.

One brand owner decided automation could solve the problem and asked Aagard (Booth SL-5919) to build a fully automated variety packaging machine capable of producing 4,000 product combinations while meeting speed requirements, flexible changeover rates and a multitude of other specifications. An on-demand approach to case packing with speeds up to 100 cases/min. was needed. The deadline was tight too.

With these constraints, current automation wasn’t the right option. Traditional use of robotics and automation would have taken a huge amount of space and costs would have been three to four times greater.

Rockwell’s iTRAK system allows flexible changeovers and dynamic motion changing between indexing and continuous-motion profiles.Rockwell’s iTRAK system allows flexible changeovers and dynamic motion changing between indexing and continuous-motion profiles.Show Daily

THE SOLUTION

After multiple iterations, the fully automated Myrias™ variety case packing system was born. Not only is the machine designed to fit tight floor space requirements, it’s capable of run rates of 100 cases/min. and quick changeover.

The Myrias variety case packer relies on the iTRAK® system and gantry robots from Rockwell Automation (Booth C-4742) and is capable of assembling 4,000 configurations. With a single touch of a button on the human/machine interface, flavor mapping changes are automatic. The gantry robots pick the pattern, and the iTRAK® components adjust to accommodate the product’s fit.

Six depalletizing stations receive full cubes of product in work-in-process (WIP) trays. The machine loads one to six flavors into stand-up retail-ready display trays or cases with layer card divider sheets. Case count options range from 12 to 96. Material handling is performed by a traditional forklift or automated guided vehicle (AGV). A carefully designed human/machine interface makes the machine easy to operate, another important requirement for the brand owner.

For more info, visit www.aagard.com, www.rockwellautomation.com. 

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