Adept has launched a clamshell packer as the first product from its packaging solutions group and said its division would continue to look at sectors where robotic solutions could improve on manual processes.
Adept ClamPAC is a robotic packaging automation cell which uses SoftPIC grippers and graspers.
Adept claim it is the first robotic solution in the world to be pre-engineered and standardized to case pack clamshells.
The standardized modular system is adapted before delivery based on customer requirements including size and design of the clamshells, the case sizes and the speed of the line.
The firm said the group is focused on delivering pre-engineered cells that perform specific tasks.
John Boutsikaris, senior vice president of sales and marketing at Adept Technology, told FoodProductionDaily.com maximum throughput depended on the size and style of the clamshell and the configuration of the case.
“Customers are easily achieving speeds of 200 ppm and more when ClamPAC is programmed to pick up two clamshells per cycle.”
He said compared to manual alternatives it reduces labour costs and injuries while improving consistency.
“As the first pre-engineered robotic solution for case packing clamshells, ClamPAC reduces the food processor’s total cost of ownership by simplifying integration and speeding deployment time compared to conventional robotic alternatives.
“Compared to other types of case packing machinery, ClamPAC offers gentle handling, production flexibility and high throughput.”
When asked why the machine was developed for clamshells, Boutsikaris said: “Clamshells present a very difficult package for traditional, mechanical case packing equipment to handle.
“Historically, processors wanting to avoid the damage caused to clamshells by traditional case packing machinery have had to manually case pack clamshells.”
He added with labour costs rising and unskilled labour becoming less available that processors are increasingly searching for solutions to automate manual processes.
“We decided to launch ClamPAC first because we recognized that customers’ case packing clamshells would benefit from a very fast return on investment while simultaneously addressing multiple business challenges such as production flexibility, labour availability and safety.”
When asked about potential future products from the division, Boutsikaris said: “Adept’s packaging solutions group is looking at sectors where the dexterity, flexibility and speed of a world-class robotic solution can offer enormous benefits by automating manual processes and/or improving traditional mechanical systems.”