Island Automation

Robotics, the Internet of Things and the Fourth Industrial Revolution? It can sometimes feel like the whole world is automated. In fact, while automation is increasingly important for a variety of cost and performance reasons, there are always processes that don’t quite fit. It can be a challenge for small producers or for non-standard products in automated plants to find a productive and cost-effective way to execute packaging operations.

To fill this niche, EAM-Mosca developed an “Island Automation” solution. These independent packaging and handling systems are custom designed and built to automatically strap products for shipment when the products don’t fit into a fully automated production process. Island systems can provide efficient, economical automation for the difficult to automate packaging process.

A recent example is a system designed and built for a Midwestern power tool manufacturer. While the plant was well equipped for automated packaging of its high-volume products, the company struggled with manually strapping products for POP displays to be delivered to home improvement stores. The display packaging process included multiple stations where the items were manually placed on pallets and covered with a corrugated cap. They were then conveyed down a powered line that led to a gravity conveyor and pickup-station where the pallets were moved to a strapping area by pallet jack.

A team of operators then manually fed two or three precut straps around each box and through the pallet void, tensioned and sealed the straps with hand tools. The process was slow and expensive, and chaotic during peak seasons when the production requirement increases to about two pallets per minute. The company needed a safer, more productive and economically justifiable solution.

Recommended by an integrator, EAM-Mosca suggested two USI-Sonixs side-seal strapping machines with pallet lances and indexing heads to replace the manual operation; custom controls that automatically apply the number and position of straps for varying load sizes; PET strap, and exit conveyor. Today, the tool manufacturer transports pallet loads via fork-lift to the Island system which straps at a 30 second per pallet throughput rate.

Built in EAM-Mosca’s Hazleton, PA plant, the USI-Sonixs utilizes a proprietary Mosca ultrasonic sealer which provides consistently strong, smoke free seals with either Polypropylene or Polyester strapping and has a demonstrated life of millions of seals. Its side-mounted strapping head indexes up to 18” to ensure uniformly tight straps on random sized loads, strap after strap.

This application is just one example of EAM-Mosca’s Engineered Solutions division that utilizes a full range of strapping machines, material handling equipment and controls to create custom solutions for unique application requirements. The success of this Island Automation program graphically demonstrates that automation no longer implies a requirement for uniformity and high volume. There is likely a productive and affordable automation solution even for the outliers. EAM-Mosca offers a plant survey at no-charge to ascertain if your off-line packaging process is a candidate for economical automation. Visit Booth #6282 at Pack Expo, Las Vegas, NV September 23 – 25, 2019.

About
EAM-Mosca Corporation provides high-performance strapping system solutions to a variety of industries, including food, graphic arts, mailing, fulfillment, logistics, corrugated, wood, and other industrial or consumer goods. The company combines innovative equipment with strapping materials manufactured to maximize machine performance, and customer support programs that help customers meet their performance and productivity goals.

To learn more about any of EAM-Mosca’s other productivity enhancing strapping systems, please call 800-456-3420, or email info@eammosca.com. You can also connect with EAM-Mosca on YouTube (www.youtube.com/EAMMoscaCorp), Twitter (www.twitter.com/EAMMoscaCorp) or LinkedIn and FaceBook via the links above.