Case Study 1 - Insulation Panels
Packrobat Automation were initially approached to consider providing a proposal and support package for a large Shrink Wrapper / Tunnel to handle and wrap very large stacks of insulation panels. The system then also had to receive stacks automatically, square the panels and then pack.
+ Our Thinking
Although shrink wrap is used throughout the industry we thought that maybe there was an opportunity to offer something new and more cost effective. Using our bank of film wrapping knowledge we decided to stand alone and offer a different system. For that reason, we offered a bespoke machine that applied 3 bands of tensioned film around the stack. One longitudinal and two bands across the width.
Apart from securing the stack sufficiently tight enough for storage and transportation, other challenges were to overcome the contraction and expansion of panels. We also had to deal with high temperatures created by the nature of the product post production. Add to this, the need to secure two pieces of dunnage on the underside so that it could be easily picked up and moved by a forklift truck. In spite of the challenges we came up with a solution.
+ Proof of Concept
We worked with a film specialist to develop an extruded polythene film that was multifunctional. It had the ability to stretch and seal under tension, withstand high product temperature and not fuse to the product. Once the film was sourced, we built a test rig which was taken to site to create sufficient packs to enable a transit trial to be conducted. After this we checked wih the marketing team they were happy and we were good to go.
Alongside our build partners, a bespoke system was designed, manufactured, installed and integrated within 6 months of order.
It featured –
- Product squaring device on infeed
- Low energy stretch sealing jaws
- Automatic dunnage dispenser / applicator
- A driven outfeed to offload point.
- We managed to make a material saving of 35-40% using stretch bands versus a full shrink bag.
- Energy saving of circa 80% eliminating the need for large shrink tunnels.
- It was designed to be spacious inside the main framework for easy access and maintenance of the machine.
- The product was fully visible throughout packing process.
- Easier to unpack and dispose of packaging at final destination
The unit sits stand-alone away from the main production areas, close to despatch, which has enabled the customer to process offline stock material into finished goods within hours of receiving an order.
The system has generated new business due to both smaller runs and faster lead times without interrupting main production. The software configuration allows for simple programming of exact carpet size, the quantity required and has an automatic job recall memory.
This bespoke machine can also be used as a back-up should one of the main production lines be out of commission.
Case Study 2 – Automotive Carpet
Packrobat Automation were approached by a worldwide car component manufacturer. They were offering the opportunity to tender for the design and construction of a large heavy-duty processing line including integral palletising. This was within one of its UK manufacturing sites.
The solution required a complete mechanical and electrical design, sourcing key HD assemblies from third-party suppliers, weekly project management and full construction and test in situ’.
Packrobat Automation were challenged to design, build and install a free-standing machine to accept large heavy rolls of automotive carpet material. It had to have the ability to automatically unwind, measure, cut and stack pieces of carpet on to a pallet or steel stillage, located on a low level conveyor mounted to a scissor lift.
+ Our Thinking
Although each process had been proven on existing production lines, there wasn’t a free-standing machine on the market capable of carrying out the required disciplines. Our proposal was based upon proven technology and some new thinking to give the end user the best solution.
Due to budget constraints and the perceived ROI, we agreed to provide –
- Mechanical machine design
- Sourcing of ancillary units
- Issue of bill of materials
- Build of machine
The client undertook the purchasing and software design in house. This way we were able to act as a key contractor but were not selling a machine under our normal terms and conditions. This approach added up financially for both parties and the agreement was made to proceed.
The integration of an existing free-standing cradle / unwinding unit. Including a material feeding system, flying cutter and automatic product aligner. Also allowing for pallet infeed and outfeed conveyors, central scissor lift and electrical panel.