The Challenge

  • The introduction of a new product for a cosmetic manufacturing client meant that they had to change their current high speed sorting operation in order to incorporate it into the production system.
  • The current amount of mechanical changeovers required for each product was not a preferable method.
  • There were six different variations of the product, so the automated solution had to be capable of adjusting to suit different production schedules.
  • System required a line speed of 140ppm (parts per minute) to be expandable to 220ppm.
  • Parts were to be filled/capped then required to be labelled and grouped into sets of 3 or 6 for auto packaging.

Our Solution

  • Customer presented with a detailed project plan in the form of a Gantt chart: timely design reviews with milestone processes showing each stage of the project right through to the installation and site acceptance testing.
  • Final outcome was a fully automated production line taking the products from an existing conveyor into a labelling cell then onward to a grouping correlation module and finally feeding an integrated flow wrapping machine.
  • 12 components were picked using a ceiling mounted ABB 6-axis robot and placed onto a special purpose servo driven indexing conveyor with machined attachments to suit the products.
  • Labelling was then performed as required with various quality inspections carried out on the product before feeding the grouping/correlation robot.
  • ABB flexpicker type robot picked 2 parts, rotated 90° and placed them into adjacent machined nests on a servo driven timing belt conveyor.
  • As the nested parts travelled through the module a base mounted 6-axis ABB robot picked 6 parts and placed them into a moving conveyor in one group of 6 or two sets of 3.
  • Various technologies were utilized for this fast acting cycle. PIAB COAX vacuum cartridges, ABB conveyor tracking technology and servo driven transfers are all combined within a stainless steel fabricated frame to suit the environment.
  • All stages focused on creating a positive, value-driven relationship with the client and striving to learn from their wealth of expertise in dealing with this engineering requirement.

Benefit to the Customer

  • Future flexibility – new products already added
  • Productivity increase – required 140ppm ‘future capability of 220ppm’
  • Increased floor space availability
  • Modernisation of equipment with high aesthetic properties
  • Reduced changeover time