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Automation for everyone

15 September 2022

VISITORS TO PPMA Total Show will be able to learn how the manufacturing workplace can be automated with just a little in-house knowledge by drawing on the expertise and experience of RARUK Automation.

The new Robotiq PE Series palletiser is just one solution to address and replace manual palletising along with the usual pitfalls: it’s repetitive, boring and physically demanding. Previously, it has been daunting for manufacturers to address lower throughput applications that may have frequent changes of box and pallet sizes. This new solution boosts palletising efficiency and speed whilst enabling the workforce to be deployed to higher value and more rewarding tasks. 

This ready-to-use solution has a pick rate of up to 13 boxes per minute and has the potential to pick multiple boxes at once, depending on size and weight. It will be shown working with a Universal Robots UR10e cobot arm, that has a maximum payload of 12.5kg, for loading the pallet and a MiR 500 autonomous mobile robot (AMR) for factory and warehouse automation of the loaded and empty pallets.

Also on the RARUK Automation stand will be the new series of automated transportation robots whose flexibility is broadened by the inclusion of a collaborative robot arm. The new ER-FLEX robots, designed and manufactured by Enabled Robotics, are ideal for addressing labour shortages and also automating repetitive tasks.   They can be used for a wide range of applications including picking and packing, material handling and warehouse automation. Incorporating a fully autonomous MiR unit, they do not need to run on tracks and can even operate in lights out environments. 

This 3-model range is optimised for space, flexibility and carrying capacity. Designed for smaller loads up to 29kg is the ER-FLEX 100-5e. Next in line is the ER-FLEX 250 – 10e which can carry larger loads up to 186kg. The ER-FLEX 250 ESD – 16e is specifically designed for the electronics industry. The load that can be carried by the ER-FLEX is based on the capacity of the MiR robot, not the load that can be picked by the integrated Universal Robot arm. 

All models are based on either a MiR 100 or MiR 250 AMR platform onto which is mounted a low (standard) or high module. The Universal Robot 6-axis collaborative arm can be specified in three sizes – UR16e, UR10e and UR5e - dependent on the payload. Customisation is further enhanced by a choice of end-of-arm tooling and accessories; robot grippers, tool changer options and integrated vision in addition to cobot cable guides and MiR charging stations.

The ER-FLEX enables around-the-clock, on-demand ingredients and pack delivery which reduces the amount of inventory taking up precious production space. The robot acquires information when items are needed and takes the appropriate action, allowing the running of a lean inventory management system and optimum use of the production floor.

RARUK Automation wants to emphasise that automation solutions are available to suit every need. From flexible, plug-and-play cobots that can be quickly integrated to boost productivity or eliminate repetitive tasks, through to dedicated, application-specific systems for upscaling the manufacturing process.  They will demonstrate how the processing and packaging industry in general, and manufacturers of food, beverage and pharmaceuticals in particular, can successfully adopt and maximise the use of robotics and automation to ensure an excellent return on investment.