Want a Productive End of Line Packaging Solution? Combine Robots & Mosca Strapping Machines
Mosca has long prided itself on delivering superior, operator-friendly end-of-line packaging systems for a wide array of products and processes. In today’s world, where human line operators may be difficult to find and where technology is making robotic solutions more adaptable and affordable, robots are gaining popularity as components of end-of-line packing operations. To support this trend, Mosca has adapted its products to integrate smoothly into automated partnerships with both independent industrial robots and collaborative robots (cobots) that work alongside human operators in applications ranging from case filling to box closing to palletization.
Functionally, robots can make sense in an end-of-line packaging system where issues like repetition, sanitary issues, heavy lifting, or long hours make a job difficult or unappealing to humans. They may simplify automation and improve productivity for operations, including identifying, sorting, selecting, and packing products in various containers or on pallets. Industrial robots bring independent, programmable capabilities to repetitive operations, while cobot programming is simpler and more easily adapted, most often supporting operators working to meet variable, shorter-run requirements.
Seamless Integrations For Repetitive Applications
Strapping systems can be combined with robots to create a seamless packing system in a variety of ways. In simple, repetitive applications, the strapping units can operate relatively independently from the robots, accepting packages to be strapped or handing strapped products off to a robot for the next processing step. In this situation, strappers can use internal sensing systems in a coordinated but relatively independent way to detect package movement and execute pre-programmed operating sequences.
Strapper & Robot Integration Examples
A simple example of a relatively independent integration of strapping and robotic material handling comes from an EAM-Mosca customer that was able to reduce floor space and labor cost elements by more than one-third by converting from manual strappers and palletizing to an automated strapping and robotic palletizing system for plastic shelves sold to big box home improvement stores. While this is a very simple system, savings were several hundred thousand dollars per year and provided a fast return on the investment. EAM-Mosca has been part of similar strapper-robot automation solutions for products ranging from roof tiles to basketball backboards. The concept has been functionally and economically proven many times over.
‘We are able to integrate our products into most situations with equipment ranging from the simplest bundlers to fully automated bundling, pallet strapping, unitizing and stretch wrapping systems.’
In systems with changing requirements, the strapping system can be integrated into a broader control system that chooses strap quantities and positions to fit specific pre-programmed product needs. Similarly, the robot can be programmed to perform more than one function. This example includes both case packing and pallet strapping. This Mosca demonstration video below illustrates the point. An automatic strapper straps individual boxes closed. The boxes are conveyed to a downstream pick-up point, where a robot picks and places them in a second strapper that secures three-box bundles that are then palletized by the robot. The pallets can then be secured for storage or shipment by a strapper or stretch wrapper. The video illustrates how controls can be integrated between the strapper and robot to provide whatever product configuration and securement are required. It is easy to imagine how the one-time programming for the strapper and robot and the 24×7 capabilities of the equipment can simplify and raise the production of the affected processes vs. trying to train and manage a multi-shift human labor force.
EAM-Mosca supports applications that range from operator-initiated machine cycling to fully automated package transport, positioning, and strapping. We are able to integrate our products into most situations with equipment ranging from the simplest bundlers to fully automated bundling, pallet strapping, unitizing and stretch wrapping systems. We have the capability to design integrated controls when appropriate and can support broader-based system integrators as needed to provide customers with productive and economically justifiable solutions to their end-of-line packaging needs.