Harpak ULMA has introduced automated tote management systems for food producers which employ reusable containers made of plastic or cardboard to transfer products, accommodating a wide range of products and primary packaging types.
The system uses a closed-loop process to drive cost savings. In the initial automated operation, stacked foldable totes are de-palletized, de-stacked, opened using a multiformat opener (or rejected as unopened), distributed, and delivered to the packaging process. In the return phase, totes are collected, prepared/cleaned, and conveyed for set up again.
While tote systems can leverage traditional material handling equipment, stacking and de-stacking often requires manual intervention. This automated system is designed to help increase reliability and throughput, and provides ergonomic features that enhance workplace safety. Since totes are available in a variety of types and open/stackable configurations, these tote loading robots feature flexible, customizable end-of-arm tooling that can be tailored to handle unique tote requirements.
The solution employs a 4-axis tote-packing robot that operates at up to 80 trays per minute. The specific palletizing system employed for secondary packaging will be guided by a combination of product versatility and production volume requirements.