Perfectly optimised for the packaging industry
A lack of skilled workers and fierce competition in fast-moving consumer goods are putting pressure on manufacturers when it comes to packaging their products. Automation of core processes such as filling or cartoning is often the first step towards more efficient, digitalised packaging processes. However, product feeding often remains a weak point, as automation at this stage has so far been cost-inefficient. A high degree of speed, flexibility and simplicity is required here – three factors which are usually solved more effectively by deploying more personnel. Schubert is now overcoming this automation barrier with its first specially developed Cobot tog.519 (tog. stands for together).
More staying power than a human, faster than commercially available collaborative robots, extremely easy to programme, and mobile: The cooperative Cobot from Schubert is the intelligent first step into the digital automation of manual feeding tasks and helps customers achieve a ground-breaking technological leap. With the Cobot, manufacturing companies have a digitalised, high-tech and easy-to-operate solution at hand to take their packaging automation to the next level over the long term – and to successfully master current and future market requirements. The development of Schubert Cobots will soon offer automation possibilities within the packaging industry that no other Cobot can match today.
The cobot – a versatile pick & place expert
Speed, flexibility, simplicity
How customers benefit! The cobot in the packaging process
Automating packaging processes with a tog.519 is all about unmatched ease of handling, application flexibility in production, and high-quality packaging results. The cobots from Schubert provide manufacturers with reliable and ever-changing support for the packaging of everyday products – without the need for any additional programming knowledge or robotics expertise.
Filling boxes and trays
The cobot is ideally suited for quick automation via plug & play when products need to be placed into boxes or trays on a packaging line. The AI-supported vision system recognises both the unsorted products as they are picked up and the environment into which they are to be placed. Formats can be handled extremely flexibly – and this includes the products themselves as well as the boxes and trays. Even entirely new products that the tog.519 sees for the first time can be picked up directly. If the tool doesn’t allow this, it can simply be exchanged. Of course, several robots can also work in parallel in a single line. The number of stations can be adjusted very quickly to seasonal products or short-term production peaks. With its exceptional versatility, the cobot enables extremely agile packing lines.
The cobot can be used to load virtually any type of chain for flexible automated feeding – without the need for further programming. Thanks to fast AI-based image processing, the robot recognises every pitch of the chain, whereby the shape, dimensions and colour of the pitches can vary without any problems. In parallel, the tog.519 picks up the unsorted products to be deposited or directly from the bin. This enables, for example, flowpackers, cartoners, wrapping machines and other systems to be loaded for different tasks. The type of product is virtually irrelevant, because the robot processes food, confectionery, cosmetics or technical articles, among many others, with absolute flexibility. At the same time, the cobot can perform its tasks without having to communicate with the downstream machine.
Setting up packaging materials
The tog.519 can automatically set up not only products, but also the packaging materials themselves. For example, different packaging components such as pucks, jars and bottles can be prepared for a filling process by one cobot and then completed with pumps and lids by another one. Here, too, the AI-supported vision system ensures that the unsorted packaging materials are specifically picked up from the bin or a tray and placed into the desired feeder. It doesn’t matter whether the containers are made of plastic, glass or metal. If required, the intermediate layers between the stacked packaging components can also be removed in this step. Communication with the filling machine is not necessary, but can be implemented if needed – from simple digital signal exchange to integration into the OPC/UA server.
The individual components of the tog.519 are also available individually from Schubert. For example, the robot or the vision system can be used for specific applications in the customer’s own lines. Both components have open interfaces and can be easily integrated into processes and machines. The robot can communicate with other cameras and scanners and, vice versa, the vision system can be combined with third-party robots or controllers. As a result, the cobot offers extremely versatile application possibilities not only as a complete solution, but also with its individual components across numerous sectors in industry – even beyond packaging.
„Our Cobot achieves one of the world’s fastest reaches into an unsorted group of products.“
Ralf Schubert (Juni 2021)
Managing Director and shareholder