Festo Packaging

Packing cycles of 670 milliseconds – High-speed T-gantry and tripod deliver a highly dynamic response at low cost

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The high-speed T-gantry and the tripod from Festo are 30 percent faster than conventional handling systems. They herald a new age in packaging technology, combining the dynamic response of a linear motor handling system with the costs of a toothed belt handling solution – which is precisely what is needed for the fast transfer to boxes at the end of the form-fill-seal process, for example.

These two handling systems represent real alternatives to expensive and complex robot systems such as robots with delta kinematics and SCARAs. Festo delivers the systems directly to the machine, ready to install and adapted to all required machine interfaces.

High-speed T-gantry
The high-speed T-gantry can easily achieve cycle times of 670 milliseconds. It is a high-speed pick & place unit with a higher dynamic response than a conventional linear gantry and can be scaled to any stroke. It can thus keep up with the cycle times required in the form-fill-seal process. At the end of this process, the high-speed T-gantry transfers the heat-sealed packages to boxes.

The gantry has a speed of 4 m/s and achieves acceleration rates of 50 m/s² over the entire working area thanks to a clever design that connects both toothed belt axes to the cross member with a single rotating toothed belt around the drive shaft. The belt is driven by two servo motors EMMS. An added benefit is that there is no need to move a motor in the X/Y plane, which has two degrees of freedom. Reduced mass and two servo drives, which are mounted parallel to each other, facilitate fast, dynamic motion and result in less wear.

Pitch slide module
When it comes to moving parts from one tray to another, the pitch slide module takes care of grid dimension adjustments, making custom developments a thing of the past. The multiple gripping function of the pitch slide module makes it possible to grip several parts simultaneously, spread them out and place them in a blister pack or workpiece carrier. The pitch slide module comes into play whenever several parts need to be repositioned at the same time and when the process requires the distance between products to be changed.
Camera system and tripod
The intelligent compact vision system SBOC-Q ensures quality in processing, for example when repositioning chocolate eggs. Position sensing with the SBO camera in combination with the tripod robotic handling system as a ready-to-install solution creates the necessary conditions for fast, reliable and precise repositioning.

The tripod kinematics give assembly cell designers and system integrators a fast, efficient alternative to the previous gantry solutions. The tripod uses standard components from the modular Festo system.

High-speed handling
The robotic handling system is characterised by a high dynamic response due to a low moving mass and high rigidity due to its pyramid-shaped, closed structure. The closed structure is created using three double rods, which ensure that the flange plate is always in a horizontal position. Axes and motors are fixed. Servo-motors are used as drives. The tripod kinematics take handling technology requirements such as short cycle times, dynamic response, function integration, fast plug and work, low acquisition and operating costs as well as faster time to market into account.

Flexible handling technology
The design of the tripod offers better accessibility in the working space than conventional Cartesian or SCARA robots. It can also be installed in horizontal, vertical or overhead positions.

Robotics for system solutions
Festo developed both of these high-speed handling systems as complete packages consisting of a controller and mechanical components for fast transfer and positioning, as well as for dynamic handling and assembly operations with workpiece loads ranging from zero to three kilograms for packaging technology.

The handling system is based on the robotic controller CMXR. It combines mechanical systems as well as electric drive and control technology components to form a complete kinematic system solution and coordinates highly dynamic motion in 3D space. The robotic controller CMXR interpolates and positions all axes that can trace path contours along a centre line. Path switching points can be set and used for accurate activation of process equipment.

The CMXR also acts as an interface to master controllers on the one hand and to the motor controllers of the servo axes and the valve terminals on the other. And that’s not all. The controller also supports the integration of vision systems such as the intelligent compact vision system SBO..-Q from Festo. Applications involving moving objects can also be realised with the help of the vision system and the available conveyor systems.

Easy integration of subsystems
Festo delivers the ready-to-install system solution directly to the machine, fully assembled and tested. All engineering data and circuit diagrams are also supplied, together with a comprehensive operating and fixed-price guarantee. Customers in the packaging technology sector not only receive hardware in the form of a ready-to-install subsystem, but a complete added-value package. This complete solution eases the burden on technical personnel, keeps design costs low, simplifies the procurement process and reduces process costs.


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