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Heinz selects Kawasaki palletizing system for UK facility

Heinz has announced the installation of a new end of line palletizing system into its Telford, ‘single serve’ production facility in the UK. The Kawasaki system from Kawasaki Robotics palletizes ‘single serving’ sachets from four lines and plastics from a fifth line.

Heinz awarded the contract to Kawasaki Robotics to design, engineer and integrate, which illustrated a flexible system using its Kawasaki RD80 palletizing robots.

The overall system consists of five conveyor feeds from each of the filling machines taking product to a pick-up location in the robot palletizing area and one of the three is dedicated to plastic containers, while the other two robots take product from the four sachet lines.

According to the US-based Kawasaki Robotics, its RD80 robots are programmed to hold up to 13 variants of case with each robot able to palletize onto two pallet locations and with diverse product palletized on each pallet, if needed.

Once the oriented cases of sachets arrive into the robot cell they are picked up either one or two at a time and placed onto the pallet. The robot grippers have been designed to handle cardboard layer pads, for less stable cartons.

The robot cells are controlled using the Kawasaki’s Latest E Series controller which manages the robots five axes movement and uses its programmable logic control (PLC), which is in-built for integration of safety and cell peripheral equipment.

Programmes are entered manually when product changes on the filling machines and through a hierarchical computer the whole cell integrates conveyor control and the robot cell.