Robotic packaging applications
ITCM clients benefit from a wealth of experience. For example our sister company, Langen, has an extensive range of applications for robotic packaging machines in a wide variety of industries. Robots bring additional flexibility to manufacturing because they are easily re-programmed and can be moved between numerous different tasks. We have experience with a wide variety of robotic solutions including Cartesian twin axis, SCARA four axis, six axis, and vision-guided systems. Our solutions employ the latest developments in instrumentation and control techniques.
Typical applications for robotics include assembly and filling of inhalers, handling of injection-moulded parts, integrating with linear vibratory and bowl feeders, tray unloading and various component orientation systems. We are constantly finding new and novel applications. For example, a recent application for labour reduction involves the automated recharging of carton blanks from a pallet into a traditional cartoning machine.
Robotics is also ideal for high-variety packaging, where multiple pack configurations and products are to be produced on the same line. Our solutions have supported rapid and even instant changeover for a variety of product lines. For example, we have used robotics to produce more than 250 different formats of a medical device in a single, flexible assembly cell. This solution had no change parts and a very short changeover for materials. Manning levels were reduced from 16 people to 2 and product quality issues associated with previous manually-intensive processes were eliminated.
Pilot plant solutions
Due to their flexible nature, robotics can be an ideal choice to support R&D activities and where pilot plant solutions are required, such as for clinical trials, market testing and manufacturability tests.
ITCM has designed robotic cells allowing the manufacture of a wide variety of different product concepts on the same base machine; Product-specific tooling can be rapidly changed over to enable the different product families to be produced. Once tests and trials are complete, the results are used to develop and build higher-speed production solutions, therefore helping to reduce lead times for launching new products to market.
The following case studies provide more information on robotics at ITCM:
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