Pouch Solutions - Integrated Robotics Factory Acceptance Test

Robotic integrators are relatively easy to find. Integrating an entire retort room is a different story. Allpax exclusively designs and builds retort room machinery. Our focus and experience in these applications provides a customized approach, starting at the container. The result is the most efficient solution and lowest cost per case for our customers. Allpax takes pride in executing extensive factory acceptance tests. It guarantees a rapid start up curve and provides an outstanding training opportunity prior to shipment.

With retortable pouches, robotic pick-and-place solutions are a good fit. Versatile End-of-Arm tooling provides container flexibility. Using the robot in a dual role to pick and place pouches as well as stack the trays simplifies the operation. A tight array of suction cups combined with a high volume vacuum blower system provides great pick-and-place reliability.

A servo reciprocating conveyor accepts pouches single file from the filler and stages them for the six-axis Fanuc robot. The reciprocator features Allen Bradley servos and encoded positions to line up the pouches. This method also allows staging of additional size pouches for added machine capability. The robot is synchronized with the staging conveyor to maximize the line speed at 200 pouches per minute.

On the unload side, after the baskets are retorted, the processed pouches arrive at another six-axis Fanuc robot. The tray tipper ensures that all pouches have been removed prior to being stacked. The pouches are set on an indexing conveyor that feeds a servo controlled, vacuum operated, single filer, which discharges the pouches on a conveyor for downstream packaging. Both the load and unload side are identical robot components to maintain common parts. Once the tipper is cleared, the Allpax tray stacker creates empty tray stacks for delivery back to the tray loading cell using the Allpax shuttle.

To provide maximum performance versatility, system controls feature Allen Bradley variable frequency drives, servo controls, and PLCs. Smart basket tracking provides redundant reliability to ensure that food safety standards are exceeded. The highest level of quality is used for component selection coupled with heavy duty stainless steel construction.

Conveyor accessories, such as turntables, allow for plant layout flexibility. The Allpax shuttle is used to transfer baskets to or from conveyors or in and out of retorts. This four basket shuttle with two lanes allows it to transfer from two different conveyors at the same time. This is typically used to transfer empty baskets onto and full baskets off of simultaneously, providing maximum line speed. The shuttle features laser guided positioning and high traverse speeds for fast and accurate basket delivery. This machine is perfectly suited to the food industry.