Palletizing bags in the tightest of spaces is always a challenge for automation engineers. Bremen-based company AKON Robotics has delivered a robot bag palletizing system to a customer in Austria, where a new gripper technology for bag palletizing is used in addition to the adaptation to the confined space. The management also sees great potential in the fruit and vegetable sector, for example among medium-sized producers and traders with bagged goods.
Bag palletising of filled bags is often a classic application, especially for layer palletisers. However, palletizing robots (4- / 5-axis systems) are also increasingly used for such applications. "6-axis industrial robots, on the other hand, are used less frequently for such tasks. The reason for this is that a 6-axis industrial robot is even more expensive in its basic price compared to a classic palletizer," sales manager Thomas Bloch explains.
Bag palletizing in the tightest of spaces
However, when it comes to automation solutions for bag palletizing in tight spaces, one must be prepared to break with all traditions. AKON Robotics has implemented this with its latest bag palletizing cell. A new KUKA IONTEC 6-axis industrial robot is used, with the KUKA.SafeOperation System and a new, effective bag gripper.
AKON Robotics' new palletizing cell concept for bag palletizing uses the brand new KUKA KR70 6-axis industrial robot. Bloch: "Thanks to its slim design, with a high payload and corresponding reach, this industrial robot is ideal for palletizing applications in very confined spaces. The palletizing cell shown in the video requires a footprint of just 2.4 x 3.5 meters, or 8.4 square meters. This corresponds approximately to the size of a storage chamber."
Tailor-made solutions for medium-sized companies
AKON also sees chances and possibilities in the fruit and vegetable sector. "Sacks and bags belong to the standard packaging in the fresh trade, for example bags which are packed in plastic crates. Until recently, there were no medium size solutions for medium-sized companies such as wholesale market suppliers. Our aim is to support this segment in particular with tailor-made approaches in various variants," says Bloch.
Bag grippers of the latest generation
Interstitial spaces can be defined with KUKA.SafeOperation. The safety distances from the safety fence can be reduced further. This is another step towards implementing bag palletizing in the tightest of spaces, safely and in conformity with CE regulations, the company explains.
Due to the newly designed bag gripper, the required area for the gripper system used is also reduced. This in turn ensures that the industrial robot can move even closer to the safety fence in order to approach the individual bag palletizing positions. "All the above-mentioned aspects, plus other factors, ensure that bag palletizing in the tightest of spaces is actually possible. A conclusive concept decides on the possibility or realization of such tasks."
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