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FANUC and Roth Technik for Kunstoff-Packungen AG 


Task
This automation job required placing plastic injection molded bottles into trays with individual cavities designed to keep each part separate from the others. In addition, the customer wanted a foam sheet to be placed in between the trays as they are layered on top of each other, to maintain a clean separation between the parts in one tray and the bottom of the tray on top. Normally, this work is done manually.

 

Solution
The solution provided by Switzerland-based Roth Technik involved two FANUC robots. The first was the six-axes M-10iD/10L with a payload of 10 kg, and the second was a four-axes SR-6iA robot with a 6 kg payload.

 

Result
The solution enabled Kunstoff-Packungen to run the manufacturing line autonomously, with autonomous operation for at least 8 hours at full speed, achieving cycle times of 0.8 seconds. Significant space savings were achieved because of the compact footprint of the solution.

About Kunstoff-Packungen AG

Kunstoff-Packungen has a long and proud history. It was founded in 1894 in Kreuzlingen, Switzerland, and today is owner-managed with over 90 employees and 72 plastic processing machines. They focus on providing customer-specific packaging solutions. The company produces hollow-bodied plastic containers, bottles, and flexible tubing, with a volumetric range from 5 to 1500 milliliters. Kunstoff-Packungen's customers are mainly in the pharmaceutical, cosmetics, food and chemical-technical industries. The company supplies customers worldwide and can adhere to ISO class 7 cleanroom specifications.

FANUC robots at Kunstoff-Packungen AG

Because manufacturers everywhere face shortages of skilled labor, and as a company dedicated to excellence, Kunstoff-Packungen continuously seeks ways to improve its level of automation. Marcel Fetzer, head of Technology for the firm, explained the application they chose for robotic automation as follows.

"Our customer asked us to place the parts cavities separately in the boxes and secure them with an intermediate sheet after each layer. This is normally done by hand, and we set ourselves the goal of automating this task. It was important for us to be able to cover both small and large mold sizes with the system, and we started looking for suitable suppliers.

 

 

Markus Roth, owner of Roth Technik GmbH, described the solution:

"We implemented a high-speed packaging solution with two FANUC robots, which take over the bottles from the injection blow-molding machine. We achieve a minimum part cycle time of up to 0.8 seconds, and the parts are deposited cavities apart, which is a very important quality advantage for the customer. In addition, the production data is stored on an RFID chip, which then automatically transfers the data to the labelling system, so that the error rate is also minimized there. Thanks to the use of two robots from FANUC, we achieve maximum flexibility, which was necessary for the different product types and processes.

One of the features the engineers at Roth Technik used to improve the efficiency of the automation was a dual-purpose gripper. The  gripper allows the robot to handle multiple plastic bottles at a time, and also to position the thin foam sheet as needed. Marcel Fetzer describes his satisfaction with the results:

"The packaging line with the two robots allows us to operate the manufacturing line autonomously. The project was successfully implemented with Roth Technik and FANUC, which prompted us to order two more systems in a different area."