Skinetta packaging system boosts cosmetic operations

06 February 2008

Cederroth International has upped flexibility on its cosmetic bottle line with an automated end of line packaging system from Ottobeuren, Germany, based system integrator, Skinetta.

The system, incorporating ABB robots, provides packaging for bottles that vary in shape and size and are placed in any orientation.

Peripheral devices at Cederroth’s factory had to be integrated into a line capable of packaging 14 different formats, 12 with trays and two without.

The cosmetic bottles are presented randomly on a feed belt as they come from a labeller. An IRB1600 robot picks up the standing or lying bottles, varying in shape and position, with its vacuum gripper. Depending on the grouping required, it places them in trays or positions them upright onto the running belt of the film wrapping machine. The robot is synchronised with the speed of the belt and conveyor tracking enables production to run continuously without having to pulse-run the belt.

Once the grouping of the bottles is complete, they are wrapped in film and then fed into the shrinking tunnel. A labeller at the machine exit also sticks labels onto the bundle, which is then placed on a pallet by an IRB6600 robot.

This robot places two bundles onto the pallet with the label always facing outwards. It also removes cushioning from a magazine and places it onto a layer on the pallet.

The cushioning boards are needed to stabilise the stack of pallets and low-grade board is generally used. This can result in the robot sucking up two or three layers of cushioning. To avoid this, the robot has been designed to suck up the board on one side and turn its vacuum plate approximately 15°, causing the lower layers to loosen and drop.

The new system is claimed to allow Cederroth to make optimised, rapid changes of format on all machines within around 20 minutes.

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