Allpax Offers High-Speed Automation Solutions for Pouches and Other Non-Rigid Containers

Feb 09, 2024

COVINGTON, La., January 9, 2024 — Allpax, a ProMach brand, recently delivered a new high-speed automated pouch loading and unloading system to a customer to feed an existing bank of Allpax retorts. “A world-leading contract packing operation struggled with manual loading and unloading of pouches for more than a year,” says David Cohen, Director of Software Engineering at Allpax. “The operation experienced excessive damage to pouches and trays, as well as not meeting output requirements. The Allpax automated pouch handling system solved these issues.”

At the load cell, the fully automated system uses Delta robots to orient and form a pattern of unprocessed pouches, and then uses 6-axis robots to pick and place full patterns of pouches onto self-stacking trays at a rate up to 200 pouches per minute. A secondary 6-axis robot is used to stack the trays on top of each other, and then the tray stack is conveyed out to an existing shuttle system that feeds the retorts. After the pouches have been retorted, the shuttle transports the tray stacks to the unloading cell. Trays are de-stacked by a 6-axis robot and the full pouch pattern is removed from the tray by another 6-axis robot and placed onto a mass take-away conveyor.

As the pouches are moved down the mass conveyor, one row of pouches is discharged at a time to form a single lane of pouches, which are then sent to the packaging line. The 6-axis robot flips empty trays over to ensure there aren’t any remaining pouches. The robot then re-stacks the empty trays so that complete tray stacks can be automatically returned to the load cell for use in loading the next batch of unprocessed pouches. Full automation maximizes output while reducing headcount in the retort room and lowers the risk of damage to the packages and trays compared to manual loading and unloading operations.

This scalable and customizable system integrates the robotic tray loading and unloading cells with an automated tray tracking system to ensure unprocessed tray stacks of pouches can’t be sent to the unloader cell without being fully processed in the retorts. The latest generation of Allpax automation controls are employed and are fully integrated with the retort process controls. Intuitive human machine interfaces (HMIs) make learning, operating, and maintaining the system a breeze. Like the equipment described above, the control system is designed and manufactured at the Allpax Covington, La., facility and uses off-the-shelf components for ease of replacement and serviceability. The Allpax engineers who design and build the system also support it, thus providing customers with knowledgeable and expedient help when needed. Customers can opt for 24/7 remote-access technical support for even quicker assistance, thus minimizing equipment downtime.

Allpax also offers the broadest selection of over-pressure batch retorts that are designed for handling/processing semi-rigid and flexible containers. Allpax helps customers select the type of retort that is best suited to meet their exacting application requirements, including the highest level of product quality for the least amount of capital investment.

Allpax also offers steam/energy and water recovery and recirculation options for customers seeking the utmost in sustainable operations, and to maximize the realization of their Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) goals. All Allpax systems and equipment undergo rigorous factory acceptance testing prior to shipping to ensure rapid and successful installation and commissioning in the field.

For more information, contact Jeff Arthur, Scott Williams or David Cohen at Allpax, and/or visit the company’s website for its complete lineup of products and services.


Delta Robot
The Delta Robot picks pouches off a conveyor, then orients and places them into a tray pattern on a mass conveyor that feeds the tray loading robot.
Load Cell 6-Axis Robots
One robot (right) picks a full pattern of pouches off the conveyor and places them in a tray. The second robot (left) stacks an empty tray on top of the filled tray.

About ProMach

ProMach is a family of best-in-class packaging solution brands serving manufacturers of all sizes and geographies in the food, beverage, pharmaceutical, personal care, and household and industrial goods industries. ProMach brands operate across the entire packaging spectrum: filling and capping, flexibles, pharma, product handling, labeling and coding, and end of line. ProMach also provides Performance Services, including integrated solutions, design/build, engineering services, and productivity software to optimize packaging line design and deliver maximum uptime.

ProMach designs, manufactures, integrates, and supports the most sophisticated and advanced packaging solutions in the global marketplace. Its diverse customer base, from Fortune 500 companies to smaller, privately held businesses worldwide, depends on reliable, flexible, technologically advanced equipment and integrated solutions. ProMach is headquartered near Cincinnati, Ohio, with manufacturing facilities and offices throughout the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Europe, United Arab Emirates, and China. For more information about ProMach, visit

About Allpax

Supporting the highest levels of product safety and regulatory compliance, Allpax manufactures processing and sterilization solutions for the food, beverage, pet food, pharmaceutical, and nutraceutical industries, including autoclaves, retort room components, fully automated retort rooms, and product handling equipment that supports retort room automation. Allpax is a product brand of ProMach, a global leader in packaging line solutions. As part of the ProMach Product Handling business line, Allpax helps our packaging customers protect and grow the reputation and trust of their consumers. ProMach is performance, and the proof is in every package. Learn more about Allpax at and more about ProMach at

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