Page 57 - Packaging News Magazine Nov-Dec 2018
P. 57

November-December 2018
“Unlike other automated solutions at Prysm, the UR5 can easily be repositioned around the factory and can operate in con- fined spaces in close collaboration with staff. With its user-friendly interface, it can be eas- ily reprogrammed to carry out different tasks.
“Importantly, the UR5 has delivered an excellent return on investment with con- servative daily savings of $550 in labelling expenses alone. It was able to pay for itself in less than 12 months, and has helped to provide the company with a significant competitive edge.”
The UR5, which has a payload capacity of up to five kilograms, is suitable for auto- mating various low-weight processing tasks such as picking, placing, testing and labelling. Prysm’s six axis UR5 is supplied with products from an injection moulding machine by a three axis robot. Sensors at each end of the conveyor mean that the ro- bots can talk to each other – so if the UR5 stops, the sensors will stop the conveyor.
At Prysm there are now plans to also in- stall an additional collaborative robot from Universal Robots. The new UR10 features the largest robot arm in the UR family and can automate heavier-weight process tasks with payload requirements up to 10 kg. It is also capable of providing reach of up to 1300 mm.
With a view to further expanding Prysm’s contract filling and packaging operations, a new wine bottling machine was recently installed to fill 750ml glass bottles at a rate of 3,500 bottles per hour.
The UR10 cobot, with its extra reach and payload capacity, will be used to de-palle- tise the bottles for the bottling machine, but Murphy says the new cobot is also suit- able for a range of applications such as packaging, assembly, and pick and place.
“We believe there are massive opportu- nities for contract filling, packaging and export of food and wine products, and we are experiencing a strong increase in the volume of production and sales,” he tells PKN. “Currently, the single serve wine glass- es are exported to Korea while the shot glasses go to countries such as China, UK, Romania, Norway and India.”
Darrell Adams, channel development man- ager SEA and Oceania for Universal Robots, says that globally, cobots are the fastest grow- ing segment of the robotics market.
“We now have some 25,000 of our cobots installed around the world, with ap- proximately one third each in Europe, North/South America, and Asia Pacif-
ic. Universal Robots are experiencing an average growth of around 70 per cent year-on-year,” he told PKN at an interview in Singapore recently.
“The development of this technol- ogy is moving quickly. It is putting the power of automation back into the hands of the operator by provid- ing a tool for the operator rather than replacing humans.
“In particular, cobots are able to deliver significant safety benefits by undertaking unpleasant, dull and hazardous tasks, as well as mid-range lifting, which is the range that humans are mostly doing. They are designed to work around hu- mans without the fear of injury from the robot.
“The flexibility of cobots means they are particularly suitable for high-mix, low-vol- ume applications. Individualisation and mass customisation is the way of the future.”
Adams points out that most Australian manufacturers are SMEs and that start-ups in particular can benefit from the use of co- bots by helping them start in Australia rather than having to go off-shore.
“With their small footprint, cobots can deliver substantial productivity benefits. Low investment is required and payback period in Australia can be as fast as two months,” he says. ■

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