Page 45 - Food&Drink July 2019
P. 45

Moving forward with cohesive productivity
The Air Grip tool is versatile and can be used for: loading or unloading; plastic or glass bottles; bottles, trays and crates; and bottles in blocks.
Brewery companies using Air Grip on the production floor have seen positive results. Production line downtimes are minimised, labour costs reduced and they have been able to react to market changes more efficiently.
Another key aspect of driving efficiency for manufacturing companies is ensuring the AGV and warehouse management systems (WMS) and procedures are meeting the standards for the manufacturing of tomorrow.
Robotic Automation have partnered with Swedish company MAX AGV to focus on AGV transport and WMS. The partnership is offering customers greater flexibility on the production floor and the ability to adapt quickly to change, which comes down the supply chain
or from management.
All system configuration
tasks are done visually with MAX Editor. It enables the in-house operator to set up all aspects of the system, from the location and operation of a pickup or storage position to the name of the individual AGVs and stations. Its advantages include:
• Modern client server Windows environment, utilising Microsoft products;
• Easy to configure, real- time application and 3D visualisations of the installed system;
• Ability to perform editing of AGV track and functions by a dedicated operator;
• Has the embedded WMS, eliminating the need of cumbersome middleware; and
• Changes made to the AGV system are replicated to all AGVs in one hit. Automated systems drive
productivity, efficiency and flexibility for the food and beverage industry, helping this integral sector to keep advancing. ✷
The food and beverage industry is constantly faced with expanding demands on how to get to market efficiently and with increased operational speeds. Robotic Automation owner and managing director Colin Wells looks at how automated solutions can help.
THE need for effective productivity from supply chain, production floor through to distribution is more paramount than ever. Integrated customised systems make a huge difference.
One area where robotics is beneficial is the bottling section in the beverage industry. What is often a long and manual laborious process can be removed by implementing effective,
flexible and safe systems.
The Motoman Air Grip bottle
handling tool is a reliable, flexible and speedy production process. Its main advantage is the simplicity of its bottle necks gripping system, which offers security and stability at high speed.
It has very low maintenance requirements with minimum wear and tear. It is very easy to clean and change out, as well as being lightweight. It can handle up to 47,000 bottles an hour with only two robots.
The Air Grip’s gripping cuffs are made in five standard sizes, covering the majority of the current range of manufactured bottles. However, a custom- made design can be designed according to customer specifications, even to a whole pallet layer size.
The rubber gripping cuffs can be replaced by hand without any specialised tools. Because bottles are locked in place with air pressure in the cuff instead of mechanical means, the life span of the gripping cuff is increased.
MAX Client
Host System
Local I/O System
MAX Mobile Client
TOP: The Motoman Air Grip lets bottles know who’s in charge.
ABOVE: The MAX platform runs the show, from factory floor to the boss. | July 2019 | Food&Drink business | 45

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