Baking & Snack -june 2022 - 90

ROBOTICS IN PACKAGING
ROBOTIC VERSATILITY IS
SOMETHING THAT HAS IMPROVED
OVER THE LAST FEW YEARS.
product as it is packaged. Any defective goods are identified
and not processed, " he said.
Yet another advancement involves enhanced control
platforms to run the entire system.
" Instead of having two separate machines, the industrial
PC has been eliminated, and everything is run
through the PLC, " said Bill Kehrli, vice president of sales
and marketing, Cavanna Packaging USA. " The footprint
for controllers is greatly reduced, and with fewer controls,
they're easier to debug. You don't need two experts where
one knows the robotic controller and the other knows the
PLC. The two now communicate great together. "
Today's robotics
come with better
controllers that are
easier to program
and take up a
smaller footprint on
the production floor.
Cavanna Packaging USA
Picking the best system
Mr. Kehrli cautioned robotics are not for everyone and
can get pricey on some high-speed lines. For example,
a granola bar line that runs 1,200 pieces a minute may
need up to 15 or more pickers that each handle 80 pieces
a minute and multiple cameras to coordinate packaging.
" Robotics are not as fast as everyone thinks, " he added.
" The robot is limited on chasing an infeed chain on a
flow wrapper, so it can get quite complicated when other
forms of hard automation do it easier. "
Early robotics relied on vacuum technology that's
simple and effective, but they have drawbacks with handling
baked goods.
" The downside is robotics often damage the product
or, if you were picking an item like a croissant or artisan
product with a garnish on top, it became very difficult to
pick it up, " Mr. Watson said. " You were also vacuuming a
lot of that garnish back into your system, so it needed to
be cleaned out on a regular basis, especially when dealing
with allergen-type toppings. "
While the new finger-like grippers rely on sensors to
pick up delicate products without damaging them, Mr.
Watson added that the technology is pricey and often requires
significant testing before implementing.
That research is something that Rick Hoskins,
chief executive officer of Colborne Foodbotics, highly
recommends.
" EOAT is quite possibly the most influential component
to automation solutions successes, but the design
process for EOATs can be a very lengthy and difficult
challenge, " he observed.
Mr. Hoskins said Colborne Foodbotics uses a proofof-concept
methodology when designing EOATs. This
means the company employs 3D printing technology to
design tools that are monitored on its robotic testing cells.
" In many cases, we take these robotic testing cells to
our customers' facilities and run various tests with actual
production quality products, " Mr. Hoskins said. " This
is critical to ensuring our EOATs are designed to the key
attributes when producing quality products. "
This process allows bakeries to see in real time how
particular EOATs affect the appearance and quality of
their products.
90 Baking & Snack June 2022 / www.bakingbusiness.com
http://www.bakingbusiness.com

Baking & Snack -june 2022

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Baking & Snack -june 2022

Baking & Snack -june 2022 - Intro
Baking & Snack -june 2022 - 1
Baking & Snack -june 2022 - 2
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