Robotic Case Packing & Palletizing of Rolls

Client & Objective

The world’s largest manufacturer of protective packaging materials presented MMCI with a new task of automating a roll packing and palletizing process in an effort to not only address labor issues but to make the system safer, faster, more reliable and smarter.

The Challenges

For MMCI, automating the palletizing process seemed relatively standard, but automating the roll handling and case packing process was going to require some very creative engineering due to a number of issues:

1. Multiple Roll Sizes – 2 different lengths in two different diameters
2. Large and Heavy – The larger rolls weighed up to 65 pounds and were difficult to handle
3. Complex Process – Required two people to manipulate the rolls and place them in the boxes
4. Damage – Rolls and boxes were often damaged in the process

The Challenges

The Solution

Our engineering team started by designing a system using robotics and other automated equipment to replace all of the heavy lifting and manual labor being performed by workers.

  • Infeed process with zone accumulation conveyors
  • Automated pallet dispenser
  • Dual shuttle system for outbound pallets
  • Robotic palletizing arm that also dispensed slip sheets

Multi-Tasking Robot

The key element of the project was the customized, multi-tasking robot engineered to:

Analysis and Strategy

Use suction cups on hinged tooling to grab and erect case

MOST Case Study

Orient case and run through sealing machine

MOST Case Study

Grab, manipulate and load the roll into the case

End-of-Arm-Tooling

To accomplish these three tasks, we custom fabricated the EOAT and outfitted it with a customized ID gripper that secured each roll and placed it gently placed into the case while leaving the outer layer of film untouched.

A Smarter System

To make the system smarter, we outfitted it with a scanner and print-and-apply labeler to capture important information and document each package.

Collect Data

Collect Data from the Roll

The cell features a scanner that reads the laser etched barcodes for quality control and tracking purposes.

Apply Label

Apply a Label to the Case

Cases from both robotic case packers are conveyed through automatic print-and-apply labelers and into the robotic palletization cell.

The Results

Safter, Smarter More Productive

By automating the case packing and palletizing processes, MMCI was not only able to help Sealed Air address its primary challenge of finding labor for this physically demanding work, but it also increased productivity, enhanced quality and improved product tracking.

How Can We Help?

At any stage of your automation project, we can help.
Call us at 314-438-3300 or fill out the form below.