A camera-controlled, energy-efficient Codian Robotics delta picker groups different packs of beverages as they will be arranged on the pallet, without package guides or separate robot control.

KHS GmbH, headquartered in Dortmund, Germany, is one of the world’s biggest manufactures of filling plants, and is considered a technological leader and key innovator in the industry. The company is constantly living up to this reputation with innovative solutions along the filling line – including packaging and palletising of products that are ready for dispatch.

And it is here, at the end of the filling line, that we find the latest innovation from KHS: the machine manufacturer is planning to use a camera-controlled Codian Robotics delta picker to construct pallet layers. For the first time, packers will be transported between the packaging machine and palletizer without backup pressure. Thanks to the robot’s camera-based guidance, the usual package guide will no longer be necessary. If different sizes of package are being handled, this will result in a considerable time saving when changing over from one product format to another.

Direct access to packages without guides
The innovative machine has been developed and constructed at KHS’s site in Worms, Germany, the group’s “product centre for palletizing technology.”

Hans-Werner Holzer, head of development and product management at KHS, explains what prompted the innovation: “The market is constantly asking for new packaging units. In order to meet the market’s demand, plats have to adapt to the new products quickly. This also applies to the package feed in palletizers. In 9order to be able to grip packages securely, package guides used to have to be precisely matched to their dimensions. By using a camera system combined with intelligent robot control, we have made it possible for packages to be held securely without guides, ensuring a high level of availability in the plant.”

In addition, the new concept taps into extensive synergies, for example in automation and visualization, in the motion sequence and safety technology, in maintenance and energy efficiency, and in system integration and machine-machine communication. All of this increases the efficiency of palletization in a sustainable way.

Source: Spectrum Packaging May 2017