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Robotics Industry News

Stäubli drives food processing and packaging solutions with their hygienic robot series

Stäubli Robotics

Automated solutions in the bread and baked goods sector are on the rise. Robotics offers new options for traditional operations that handle recurring heavy loads with high repeatability.

Robotic arms now make it possible to maintain better control over the product even during proofing, score bread in any fashion while maintaining its shape and handle soft or fragile breads all while maintaining the product’s properties. 

Stäubli (booth # 7623) will showcase its FAST Picker TP80 with the H1 option, demonstrating its industry-leading capability of up to 200 picks per minute with macaroons, which it will pick off the conveyor belt and skillfully position the product into trays.

“Using tracking with a vision system and conveyor encoders allows the FAST Picker TP80 to efficiently and accurately sort the product into trays,” said Sebastien Schmitt, Robotics Division manager, Stäubli North America.  “By adding 3D vision systems you are able to work through a complex sequence that includes quality assurance aspects as well as arranging the product to look attractive in the tray. In addition, can also help maintain uniform pack weights.”

The H1 designation signifies the use of food-grade oil. In contrast to competing products in which the use of class NSF H1 lubricants adversely affects performance, the TP80 can continue to operate without any impairment, which is rare for robotic process automation.

SCARA redesigned for food applications

Stäubli’s TS2 60 will illustrate a multi-pick and case-packing application.  The completely redesigned 4-axis machine with proprietary JCS drive technology facilitates ultra-short cycle times and high repeatability. It also has a revolutionary encapsulated design, which opens up new possibilities for use in sensitive environments, for the first time reaching an IP65 rating

“There is no external bundling of cables and no irregular contours, and the new TS2s feature a completely sealed housing,” said Schmitt. “The quill has an option, which can protect with a cover and is affixed with special screws and concealed connections that can be housed under the robot pedestal. The TS2 offers the latest and greatest in hygienic design.” 

Wash-down six-axis machines for strict hygienic food environment

Also for the first time, Stäubli will be presenting the HE version of the TX2 series for sensitive food applications that require fast kinematics that can withstand wash-down and temperature changes. On display at IBIE will be the TX2-60HE, which has a reach of 670mm to 920mm and will feature ultrasonic cutting, cake decorating and bread scoring to showcase an automated wash-down process.

Additional features of the TX2 HE include connections through the base of the robot, no retention areas, complete protective coating and internal pressurization of the arm as well as a H1 lubrication option. These variants comply with existing stringent hygiene requirements for processing and packaging unwrapped foods and perform secondary packaging processes where the shortest possible cycle times are required.

Stäubli’s collaboration with the European Hygienic Engineering and Design Group initially laid down hygiene requirements for closed systems, which inspired Staubli to create the HE series of robots.  In the process, it became apparent that far-reaching changes are necessary to qualify robots for use in contact with unwrapped foods in accordance with EHEDG guidelines.

HE robots prevent bacteria in primary processing environment

No-germ production was the specification upon which the development of the HE robot series was based. Therefore, the goal was to avoid the use of covers, that create retention areas, which are more inclined to have germs.  HE stands for Humid Environment and designates all robots that have specially been modified to withstand moisture and spray.  The casing has been specially treated and parts subject to exceptional stress are made of stainless steel. The robots are fully encapsulated and designed to comply with IP67/65 protection standard.

Staubli highlights partner Grote

Integrating with Stäubli’s equipment, Grote’s robotic solutions are specialized for the high-care food production environment with more than 45 years of experience. Equipment is designed hygienically and with the flexibility to handle a variety of actions and applications.

Grote Company will have a running sandwich assembly line at IBIE 2019 – complete with Grote sandwich equipment and a Stäubli robot. The line will automate bread feeding, deli meat slice and apply, and sandwich cutting. The robot component will lid the sandwich and align it on the conveyor for accurate cutting in our new Universal Cutter.

Visit Grote Company at IBIE in booth #2767 to see the next stage of our food assembly automation.

About Stäubli North America
Stäubli's North American headquarters is located in Duncan, South Carolina offering support to Connectors, Robotics and Textile customers, while Stäubli Electrical Connectors (formerly Multi-Contact) operates its business in Windsor, California. The dynamic Stäubli sales force is strategically placed in MI, SC, West Coast, Canada, Mexico, and elsewhere throughout the continent.

Stäubli is a mechatronics solutions provider with three core activities: Connectors, Robotics and Textile. We are an international group that currently operates in 29 countries, with agents in 50 countries on four continents. Our global workforce of 5,500 shares a commitment to partnering with customers in nearly every industry to provide comprehensive solutions with long-term support. Originally founded in 1892 as a small workshop in Horgen/Zurich, today Stäubli is an international group headquartered in Pfäffikon, Switzerland, delivering innovative solutions to all industrial sectors around the world.

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