Frozen Food Palletizing For One of the Largest Raw Food Producers in North America

The Client & Objective

As a long-time supplier of automation systems to the largest dairy processing companies in the world, MMCI was excited to utilize its expertise in the food industry for one of the largest raw food producers in North America.

The Challenges

Like many meat and frozen food processors, our client wanted to eliminate the amount of human exposure to the freezing temperatures of the palletizing area while increasing productivity.

And, like many palletizing projects, the solution needed to fit within a very limited space in the facility and be delivered and installed with minimal disruption to the operation.

The Solution

After carefully inspecting the client’s facility, environment and existing equipment, MMCI’s engineers concluded that a FANUC M-410iB/140H with a ROBOSUITS protective enclosure would be the optimal solution for this application.

Having determined the best robot and end-of-arm tooling for the job, eight pneumatic gripping heads (2 zones), MMCI then turned to designing a compact cell layout that would fit into the tight area. The solution was to integrate an automated pallet rotating turntable that would allow for the direct palletization of the cases - effectively streamlining and automating what was originally an entirely manual operation.

To further limit human exposure to the area, MMCI’s engineers integrated a custom-designed MMCI FD-1500 Automated Pallet Dispenser into the robotic cell. With a pallet capacity of 15 pallets, the FD-1500 allows the robot to palletize for extended periods of time with little to no operator oversight.

The Results

MMCI specified a highly flexible robot that requires a very small working area and can be outfitted with a protective robot suit enclosure and integrated heating system to keep the robot and its servo axes at an ambient temperature. The heating system supplies warm air into the suit when the temperature inside drops below the robot's minimum operating temperature and eliminates problems associated with frozen and blocked air lines. Several other unique features were also designed into the robotic cell to accommodate the customer’s established maintenance and safety procedures.

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