In Spring 2015, RM Group were presented the challenge of developing a high speed handling solution to arrange a variety of bakery products into various pack ready formats. The remit, to “dramatically and reliably increase production handling capability and maintain very high quality standards”, came to us from Village Bakery Group, the well regarded Welsh baker.
In order to achieve the prerequisite speed and accuracy we immediately turned to our partner in automation, ABB Robotics and their Flex-Picker robots. Known for their speed capability and accuracy.
Having reviewed various layout options with the customer, we arrived at a 10 robot system, split into two banks of five, ABB Flex-Picker IRB360’s with Pick Master 3 control. The system also incorporates six ABB high resolution vision systems, which not only take advantage of the Flex-Picker’s accuracy, but also provide a high degree of quality inspection for shape and colour. Providing the customer even more enhanced quality control.
The system; Product is conveyed away from the customers cooling conveyor and split between the two banks of five robot cells. Each robot is equipped with a Festo pick-up head which operates using the Bernoulli “non contact” principle. Product is picked and placed directly to Fuji flow wrapper infeed conveyors which have been integrated into the system along with Fuji card feeders.
Smart logic programming of the assembled system ensures all packs entering the flow wrappers are correctly filled.
All system components, including the flow wrappers which were free issued by Village Bakery, were shipped to RM Group’s Newtown Factory, which incorporates a 25,000 sq ft testing facility. Here we were able to fully pre-build, rigorously test and snag the complete system, resulting in a smooth, fast installation at the customer site and a dramatically reduced commissioning period.
Despite the high tech, high speed capability of this system, as with all RM Group products, we have provided the operator, easy to use HMI touch screens.
“From the outset, RM Group inspired confidence. Supported by ABB, they demonstrated a high level of expertise and technical ability. We were kept fully advised and involved with trials at the design and development stage. The door to the RM Group factory was always open during manufacture. The system was installed very efficiently with minimal disruption to our day to day operation. System performance is every bit keeping pace, we have been able to improve quality and consistency for our customer, enabling us to meet peek demands.” – Christien Jones, Project Director – Village Bakery Group
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