Packaging Food Supplements
With this innovative packaging system, we meet the challenge to automatically close different bottle sizes with a preferably high cyclic output. Bottle- and cap combinations of different forms can be closed with a speed of up to 50 cycles per minute and a very low setup time. There options for both screw or snap-on closures. Through the application of the most modern technologies like cameraguided robots and the Multi Carrier System (MCS) of Siemens/Festo we developped a highly flexible system. A reliable image processing unit checks the correct placement of the caps.
- Suitable for screw or snap-on closue
- Up to 50 bottles pro minute
- Counts the processed bottles
- 10+ different kinds of bottles and caps
- Easy addition of new types of bottles and caps
- Extremely short setup time through extensive automization of format adjustment
Because of the variety of different sizes, the pressing power and the rotation speed to close the bottles automatically have to be adapted for every individual bottle. A great variety of the bottles and caps also should be able to be processed at different cycle times. Through using a combination of image processing and robotics with flexible hard- and software, the system runs smoothly under these circumstances. In addition to that the system can easily be adjusted to process the different bottle types with the user interface.
Because of the many different shapes of the bottle caps, the supply to the packaging system needs to be very flexible. Therefore the system uses a combination of 3D image processing and a fast SCARA robot, which seperates the caps coming from the feed bunker and ensures that the caps are oriented correctly. Most caps have to be turned around on a turning station, because of their centre of gravity.
Filling the bottles
The bottles are positioned to get filled in pairs. In this particular case a counting machine is used to fill the bottles, but there are other possibilities. The bottles can be shaken lightly while filling them, so the food supplements don’t heap.
Putting on the caps
To ensure short set-up times and a high diversity of shapes, two SCARA Robots put the caps onto the bottles. Therefore a 2D Image processing system determines the position of each individual cap. Additionally two pneumatic clamps align the bottle and secure it against rotation. Subsequently the caps are put onto the bottles in pairs and are screwed on if needed. In case the power of the robots is not sufficient to snap the caps onto the bottles, a servo-electrical snap-on station closes the bottle.
Because dimensional deviation in bottles and caps can’t be ruled out, the system subsequently checks whether or not the caps were positioned correctly, to make sure that alle the bottles are closed. Bottles that were not closed correctly get ejected from the process and can be reworked by hand.
Bottle without cap
Transporting and positioning the bottle
To reach the short cycle time requirements, the bottles must be positioned at the different process stations extremely fast and precise. This is made possible using the MCS-System of Siemens/Festo. The MCS-System is able to balance the temporal fluctuations at the individual process stations, because it enables individual and paired journeys to different times and with different speeds.