Case Studies / Packaging / HDPE Bottles

Motoman Robot Handling and Case PackingAchieved 78-bottle-per- minute packing rate with inverted bottles. Faster rates are possible for upright bottles. (Actual packing rate varies, depending on bottle size, type, orientation, and gripper configuration.) Minimal changeover of conveyor rails required. All other changeover is automatic and controlled by PLC.

Project Challenges

  • Improve productivity over manual packing process.
  • Handle still-warm, blow-molded high-density polyethylene (HDPE) plastic bottles without damaging them.
  • Achieve production rate of 80 bottles per minute, which is maximum production rate of the customer's blow-molding machines producing the bottles.
  • System must be flexible to accommodate wide range of round, oval and “roval” products. Oval- and roval-shaped bottles must be presented on fixed-pitch centers.
  • System also must accommodate a variety of case packing patterns, with capability to handle a mix of upright (neck up) and inverted (neck down) bottle layers.
  • Minimal changeover required between bottle runs.
  • Limited floorspace available for equipment.

Motoman Robotics Solution

Motoman Robotics provided a highly flexible automation solution, including:

  • Motoman UP20 robot with XRC controller.
  • Steel mounting structure (robot is invert-mounted on structure).
  • Custom end-of-arm tooling (pneumatic dual-function gripper) featuring rubber strips on the parallel gripping surfaces.
  • Three-zone, powered roller conveyor for boxes. Load zone has adjustable tilt from 15 -20 degrees.
  • Customer supplied powered table-top chain conveyor with stops and sensors for bottles. Includes manually adjustable side-guide rails on infeed conveyor.
  • Common base for robot, conveyors, mounting frame with forklift pockets.
  • Allen-Bradley SLC 505 PLC.
  • Allen-Bradley PanelView 600 color touch screen interface.
  • Custom pneumatic bottle inverter device to grip the bottles by their necks and a rotary pneumatic actuator to invert the bottles for robotic pickup.
  • Safety fencing (enclosure) with photo eyes, mats, interlocked door.
Ref: ACS-036
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