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Robotic Case Packing for Sachets and Tubes

Product Used: V30 Vertical (Top-Load) Robotic Case Packer

The Challenge: V30 Vertical Robotic Case PackerA manufacturer of pharmaceutical creams decided to move out-sourced manufacturing and packaging processes into a new in-house facility in order to better control product quality. New to specifying packaging equipment, the manufacturer needed a turnkey equipment manufacturer and system integrator to design, integrate and install packaging equipment to form, fill, and seal (FFS) foil sachets as well as equipment to case pack the sachets and two sizes of tubes.

The Solution: ESS Technologies, Inc. working with other OEM equipment providers, designed, built and integrated a complete system that manufactures and case packs the foil sachets as well as collates and case packs two sizes of tubes. Custom ESS-designed end-of-arm tooling (EOAT) with quick release connections provide a very fast changeover from one product to another. Integrated conveyors and custom collation devices allow a single robotic case packer to handle both the FFS sachet product and provide an infeed system for both tube sizes.

How it Works: Foil sachets produced by an integrated FFS machine discharge directly to the infeed conveyor of the ESS Technologies V30 Robotic Case Packer. An elevator infeed bucket accepts the sachets in a 1x3 strip configuration and sensors alert a FANUC M-20iA robot when the correct number of sachet strips has accumulated. The V30 picks a blank RSC case from a magazine and forms the case. Gripper-style EOAT grabs the stacked sachets and places them in the formed case, which then moves to a tape closing device. Sachets are formed, filled, sealed and case packed at a rate of 60 sachets per minute.

Tubes enter the V30 on their side, caps leading, via an infeed conveyor separate from the sachet infeed conveyor. The tubes are divided via a collation system into four rows. The M-20iA with vacuum-style EOAT picks one row of four tubes, moves up slightly to pick the next row of four, and moves again to complete a 4x3 pattern for case packing. The EOAT handles both sizes of tubes, reducing system changeover time. The V30 forms the RSC case, and, after filling, the case is closed using self-adhesive tape. Both tube sizes are case packed at a rate of 60 tubes per minute.
The Results: By providing a full turnkey solution, ESS Technologies enabled the manufacturer to bring their production and packaging processes in-house to ensure high product quality. The compact system manufactures and case packs up to 60 foil sachets per minute or case packs up to 60 tubes per minute. This primary case packing system is fully integrated with a secondary ESS V30P Robotic Case Packer/Palletizer for final end-of-line packaging.
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