Conveyors and Robots: Products from the PACK Expo

What's trending in the packaging industry? Here's a look at automation technologies spanning intuitive controls to motion solutions that were on display last week at PACK Expo.

Scroll through the list to see some of the products featured at the PACK Expo, or browse through the slideshow above. 

Servo Drives Feature Convenient Connectors 

The AKD2G servo drive is highlighted for its plug-and-play compatibility with the company’s motors. Its simple physical connections and Workbench interface make it easy to set up. It features a hybrid connector with an optimal design for single-cable motors. Meanwhile, the drive’s I/O cage-clamp terminal offers one-step connections, and is optically isolated to reduce noise.

The drive integrates a powerful multicore Compute Engine–also called a Servo on a Chip–that quickly accommodates changing loads. It has a rapid current-loop update rate of 1.28 µs, and a velocity- and position-loop update of 62.5 and 250 µs. Drives are available for EtherCAT and FSoE, and CANopen. An optional Safe Motion Monitor (SMM) can be included to improve safety measures.

Kollmorgen, (540) 633-3545

Conveyor Display Demonstrates Controls, IO-Link 

A large, high-speed SR3600 case-and-tray packer was on display leveraging Festo IO-Link at its Ethernet valve terminals to control pneumatic operations. System sensors connected to a power supply use Balluff IO-Link to provide continuous measurements of diagnostic and statistical information. A barcode reader from SICK is used to determine whether cases meet user-set requirements as they are discharged from the packer.


Robotic Palletizer Handles Various Configurations

Robotic palletizing and depalletizing solutions from this company take a unitizing approach that builds loads directly onto slip sheets or conveyors. They support high-throughput operations while reducing labor requirements, and use IntelliGen palletizing software that allows users to accommodate a variety of packaging types, stacking patterns, and layout constraints.

The unitized loads travel to the robotic depalletizer on Intelligrated Palmat conveyor, which is a full-width, heavy-duty modular plastic belt designed for column-stacked loads or unitized loads that are unstable or difficult to handle. The robotic depalletizer unloads items and places them on MDR conveyor for transportation back to the palletizer, while a Rockwell Automation-based HMI provides a clear visualization of equipment status and diagnostics throughout the operation. 

Intelligrated, (877) 315-3400 

Grounding Arms, Label Stand-Offs Promote Cleanliness

Iso-Flo, Impulse, Horizon, and Marathon conveyors are upgraded with new grounding arms, label stand-offs, sanitary drives, and Vector-Lock Gen 2 clamp for ease of use. Targeting food-processing and packaging lines, the conveyors’ grounding arms feature a single stainless-steel structure that is smooth in texture and has an open design to enhance sanitation and durability. The grounding arms are more sanitary than braided wire rope, which have crevasses that are susceptible to collecting bacteria. It also avoids a crimped ferrule that is liable to fail. The arm comes standard on new conveyors and can be retrofitted to systems already in the field.

The new label stand-off approach lists each conveyor’s identification, specs, and stroke indicators on a laser-etched or stamped stainless-steel plate attached to the conveyor with stand-offs, rather than laminations. They consume less space than riveted plaques, which can also trap bacteria, and adhesive stickers that can peel off after repeated washdowns. The novel Vector-Lock Gen 2 clamp offers a larger hook, bigger radius, and added over-center latching for more positive engagement, enabling quick release and closing—as well as maximizing load carrying—to secure screens and covers on conveyor systems.

Key Technology

Software Executes Programming for Easy PLC Setup

The MLX300 robotic software option eliminates the need for operators to learn specific robot programming languages. Rather, operations can be inputted using a standard programmable-logic-controller (PLC) environment. It is compatible with the company’s DX200 material-handling robots and YRC1000 GP-series robots. Up to four robots and positioners can be connected to a single MLX300 system.

The software enables the PLC to execute all programs while the robot controller’s kinematic algorithms manage motion control. The software supports PLCs such as CompactLogix, ControlLogix, and GuardLogix. The single-controller, single-programming environment eliminates redundant electrical interfaces and consolidates hardware, thus optimizing floor space and simplifying safety design.

Also included are add-on instructions (AOIs), i.e. easy-to-use programming tools, and human-machine interface (HMI) screens specific to robot configuration and motion control.

Yaskawa, 800-YASKAWA

HMI Promotes Easy Line Setup

The Unison Automated Guide-Rail System is equipped with a human-machine interface (HMI) and a PLC to streamline line efficiency and cut down on changeover time. Thanks to the HMI, operators can instantly pull up information about their packaging line during changeover and run time. Ultimately, it eliminates the operator having to tweak or adjust the line during setup and production.

The Unison touchscreen HMI lets operators perform functions such as automated changeovers, manual jogging, recipe management and teaching, maintenance, and diagnostics. The overall Guide Rail System uses standard components that are custom-designed to meet a customer’s specific line-configuration and container-control needs.

The system includes safety-rate emergency stop circuitry, and is built to CSA, UL, and CE standard. It can be integrated into the current line controls of existing Unison systems, or act as a standalone system.

Septimatech, (888) 777-6775

Linear Transport Tech Features Flexible Design

SuperTrak linear industrial transport technology features open robotics and an anti-slosh control feature for liquid transport. It can be used to achieve batch-of-one manufacturing and packaging, rapid changeover, and a greatly reduced footprint.

B&R Industrial Automation Corp.

Modular Belt Drives Enable a Variety of Conveyor Settings


New belt drives targeting conveyors in manufacturing, food and beverage, distribution centers, and airports feature a modular design with a strong shaft and ball bearings that offer a long service life. Robust planetary gears efficiently transfer high torques to belts with little operating noise, and an expanded number of gear stages acheives a wide speed range. Available for both synchronous and asynchronous setups, current drive offerings are limited to drum motors measuring 80 mm in diameter, but additional sizes are slated to be released soon. They are IP69K rated for cleaning.

Interroll Group, (910) 212-6112


TAGS: Packaging
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