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robotics
A customer magazine
of the ABB Group

Food and beverages issue


Ecologically sustainable 6
Tailored system increases packing speed and minimizes freight
Masters of flexibility 14
Meeting the foodie demand
Pasta, present and future 16
Robotic automation delivers pasta faster
Editorial

06 08
Versatile lupins on the rise Churning out milk products
Lupin Foods Australia relies on robotics to Brazilian dairy producer raises the bar on
meet the growing demand for health food. efficiency with a new palletizing system.

robotics 1|14

Welcome to a special issue of ABB Robot- In Brazil, Piracanjuba, one of the coun-
ics where we delve into the world of food trys biggest dairy producers, applied a
and beverages. Its an exciting and dynam- new palletizing solution that has not only
ic industry, where consumer needs and increased efficiency, but has also reduced
wishes often steer the trends. the companys costs. Discover how this
Our Content and Editorial Manager, was achieved on page 8.
Nick Chambers, forecasts some of the Coppenrath & Wiese in Germany has
hottest trends and where they are headed invested in an advanced robotic solu-
(page 14). He reveals, among other things, tion (page 19) that picks the thousands
that more and more people are choosing of frozen desserts produced by this fam-
ready-made food, at the same time that an ily company every day. Find out how pas-
increasing number of consumers are in- ta company Molino in Argentina (page 16)
terested in health and having fresher food is working more efficiently or read about
products. Australias biggest palletizing system on
Bengt Stom The demands are equally high with- page 21. These are just a few tasty sam-
Global business line manager, in the beverage industry. Regardless of ples in this issue.
Packaging ABB Robotics whether its milk or beer, products need to Food and drink are always exciting and
reach the market fast. There are plenty of in combination with robotics, they are sure
thirsty consumers out there who are only to become even more interesting. We hope
satisfied with their own favorite brand. that you will find this issue enjoyable and
ABBs robots are flexible, fast and useful. If you have any questions or com-
adaptable even when it comes to strict ments regarding the magazine, please
hygienic demands as this issue of ABB dont hesitate to contact us.
Robotics clearly highlights with stories
from companies on different continents Best regards,
that have chosen ABB for robotic solutions. Bengt Stom

Robotics 2014-1 International customer magazine from ABB Robotics Copyright 2014 Segments and Events Communications Manager: Maria Eriksson
Tel:+46 (0) 7055 42151 E-mail: maria.eriksson@se.abb.com Publisher: ABB Robotics AB Design: Interbrand Zrich Production: Appelberg Publishing
Group AB Printer: V-Tab Any use of text or photos requires the written consent of the publisher

2 ABB robotics 1|14


Contents

10
Roll out the barrels
ABB software helps Rothaus
brewery fill its kegs.

16
Pasta, present and future
Pasta factory Molinos has increased its productivity by 10 percent
since installing six ABB robots at its Lucchetti plant.

Contents
4 N ews and events calendar 14 M asters of flexibility
A BB launches the RacerPack, a picking and placing F aster, healthier and fresher matching new
application that provides greater flexibility, and the demands and trends in the food and beverage
Picking PowerPac which optimizes performance. market.

6 Versatile lupins on the rise 16 P asta, present and future


L upin Foods Australia relies on robotics to meet the P asta factor y Molinos has increased its
growing demand for health food. productivity by 10 percent since installing six
ABB robots at its Lucchetti plant.
8 Churning out milk products
B razilian dairy producer raises the bar on efficiency 19 I nnovative products
with a new palletizing system. A BB has the solution for every occasion

10 R oll out the barrels 20 A taste for productivity


A BB software helps the Rothaus brewery fill its Frozen dessert maker Copppenrath & Wiese uses
kegs. ABB robots and PickMaster software to roll tasty
treats out to the market.
12 Feeding food packaging
JLS Automation is out to change the food packaging 22 S ize matters
industry with a leap into automation. A ustralias George Weston Foods is home to
Australias largest robotic palletizing system.

ABB robotics 1|14 3


News and events

Events calendar 2014


Come and see ABBs newest solutions at the following events:

June 22 - 25 September 8 - 13 October 7 - 10


FoodPro 2014, IMTS 2014, Tokyo Pack 2014,
Melbourne, Chicago, USA Tokyo, Japan
Australia

News
RacerPack provides gentle product
handling with vacuum suction
cup grippers designed to pick up
almost any kind of product.

Ahead of the Pack


the FlexPicker into a single stainless steel
cabinet with panel-mounted controller,
custom grippers and in-feed convey-
ors for large-scale collating, picking and
The RacerPack picking and placing placement applications.
Building on the FlexPickers out-
application provides greater flexibility standing motion performance, short cy-

while accommodating a wide range cle times, high accuracy and capacity,
the RacerPack can handle payloads of
of packaging designs. up to 300 grams at a rate of 450 items
per minute. The systems customized
RacerPack is an application for the ABB or decelerates. RacerPack provides gen- collating grippers can pick up a wide va-
IRB 360 FlexPicker robot, designed tle product handling with vacuum suction riety of parts.
for high-capacity collating, picking and cup grippers designed to pick up almost Its user-friendly human-machine in-
placing of products onto trays, cartons any kind of product. terface is designed for quick product
or feeding of other machinery. For the past decade and a half, the changeover and easy integration into
Picking and packing can be done IRB 360 FlexPicker has been the gold new and existing product lines. A single
with high accuracy from indexed convey- standard in precision picking and plac- operator can swap out product types in
ors, even when the conveyor accelerates ing applications. RacerPack incorporates as little as 10 minutes.

4 ABB robotics 1 | 14
News and events

November 2 - 5 November 17 - 20 November 19 - 20


PackExpo, Emballage, PackEx,
Chicago, USA Paris, France Montreal, Canada

Picking lines get a boost


The Picking PowerPac eases the
complicated task of designing a picking
system and optimizes performance.
The Picking PowerPac, drawing on enables you to easily resolve big-picture
ABBs more than 25 years of expe- questions such as where to position the
rience in robot programming inno- robots for maximum output. In the virtual
vation, is an easy-to-use add-on for world you simply move, add or remove
RobotStudio and PickMaster 3 soft- robots and move conveyors around un-
ware. It boosts the performance of til all positions are reachable, optimized
picking lines with thorough optimiza- and verified within the picking cell. Pro-
tion in the virtual world before the line grams can then be tuned for speed and
gets built in the real world. process efficiency, and cycle times veri-
With the Picking PowerPac, risks fied and optimized before system build-
in designing a picking line, such as out or start of production.
the variations in the product inflow, With the Picking PowerPac, users do
can be tested and minimized, and the not have to write a single line of code. In-
complicated task of designing a pick- stead they select product and container
ing system becomes more accessible types and set simple parameters, such
Key Features: than ever. The software even allows as product sizes, container sizes and
Picking and packing with high for the improvement of existing lines patterns. The software then creates the
accuracy from indexed convey- that were configured using PickMas- program ready to simulate, test and fine-
ors, even when the conveyor ter 3 by recording current product flow tune, saving valuable time and proving
belt is accelerated or deceler- with cameras and then feeding it into your solution before real-world mistakes
ated the Picking PowerPac to validate and are made.
Gentle product handling with optimize the system.
vacuum suction cup gripper The Picking PowerPac allows both
designed to pick up almost any novice and experienced users to eas-
kind of product ily design picking installations and cre-
User-friendly HMI with recipe ate simulations of the systems that will
handling for product change- eventually run in the real world. Within
over and production monitoring the Picking PowerPac, robots and oth-
High availability and capacity er system elements are configured
up to 450 products/minute rather than programmed, saving up to
Scalable, hygienic, modular 80 percent in programming time when
design compared to traditional methods.
Fast and easy integration into Using the Picking PowerPac dur- With the Picking PowerPac users do not have to
existing or new lines ing a picking systems design phase write a single line of code.

ABB robotics 1 | 14 5
Improved quality of work

Versatile lupins A
round the world, lupins part of
the legume family that includes
the likes of soybeans, peas and
lentils are experiencing incred-

on the rise
ible growth in consumer demand. They are
a rich natural source of protein and fiber,
are easily digestible, cholesterol-free and
provide a convenient and healthy option
for consumers who have celiac disease or
A high-speed, flexible robotic packing simply want to follow a gluten-free diet.

solution helps an Australian food In Australia, lupins play a vital role in


the ecological balance of agriculture. West
manufacturer meet rising global demand. Australian manufacturer, Lupin Foods Aus-
tralia, specializes in a range of foods based
Text & Photos: ABB
on Australian sweet lupin, which has been
developed to meet the growing demand.
Lupin Foods Australia, a wholly-owned
subsidiary of global farmer cooperative

6 ABB robotics 1 | 14
Improved quality of work

CBH Group, now exports packaged lupin


products to markets as wide-reaching as
South East Asia, the Middle East, North
Africa and Western Europe. The company
has been carving out its niche in the health
food market since 2006, with offerings in-
cluding Lupin Tempe, Lupin Dahl, Lupin
Falafel and Lupin Carrot Cake.
When Lupin Foods Australia required
a robotic solution to streamline its pack-
ing processes, it called on local ABB Au-
thorized value provider and robotic auto-
mation specialist Robotic Solutions WA to
design a system that could simultaneous-
ly lower palletizing costs and keep up with
rising output levels.
Lupin Foods Australia General Manager, We only use ABB robots. Theyre very reliable, and
David Fienberg says the company contacted theres a huge range which makes selecting a robot
Robotic Solutions WA due to their track re-
cord of innovation and their use of equipment for any application very easy.
combined with a solid reputation from ABB. David Woodhouse, Robotic Systems WA Director
We looked at many robots and con-
trol systems and found Robotic Solutions While it has given us the ability to reduce est rivals.
offering was the most capable of adapt- our labor requirements, we have also been The ABB IRB 460 robot is ideal for
ing to our environment and growing with able to mitigate health and safety risks as- this application it is a very fast, light-
our business. ABB has a very strong name sociated with lifting 20 kilogram bags weight palletizing robot that can achieve
in Western Australia and around the world because injuries to staff are the last thing very fast cycle times. Were currently pal-
in a diverse range of industries and we wed ever want, he adds. letizing 15 bags per minute but there is
were therefore confident that the support Robotic Solutions WA specializes in scope there to go a lot faster if required,
wed receive would be more than sufficient robot-based automation solutions for pal- Woodhouse says.
to meet our needs, he explains. letizing, materials handling, assembly, He points out that the Lupin Foods Aus-
Lupin Foods Australia also required a welding, painting and inspection in a variety tralia application is unique due to its ab-
high-speed, efficient system with the ca- of manufacturing sectors. The company of- sence of wooden pallets.
pacity to adapt as the business grew. fers in-house system design, engineering, We dont have a pallet as such. The ro-
We developed a solution that allows manufacturing and testing facilities, and al- bot picks and places a plastic slip-sheet on-
us to produce 900 20-kilogram bags per so provides all necessary training, technical to the roller conveyor. The robot then picks,
hour, and stack them in such a way as to support and aftersales service. clamps and places the bags onto the slip-
minimize our freight costs. The system has Robotic Solutions WA Director, David sheet unit the stack is complete. The stack
allowed us to remove wooden pallets from Woodhouse says the company has been is then conveyed out of the robot cell and
our process entirely, and therefore take ad- an ABB Authorized value provider for eight placed into a shipping contariner. And since
vantage of the full capacity of our shipping years. we were able to use a standard gripper de-
containers. It also eliminates damage to We only use ABB robots. Theyre very sign, Lupin Foods Australia now has the
our bags, Fienberg says. reliable, and theres a huge range which option to introduce traditional palletizing
Lupin Foods Australia has enjoyed makes selecting a robot for any applica- down the track, if the business requires it.
a number of operational improvements tion very easy. Also unique is the speed at which the
since employing the ABB robot, including According to Woodhouse, Lupin Foods robot is working, and the flexibility of the ro-
increased packing speed and productivi- Australia specified a high-speed system botic system. Lupin Foods Australia is able
ty, mitigation of health and safety risks and that was reliable, user-friendly and locally to select any of its different product types
simplified worker training. supported. We provided them with a turn- using the PLC, and the robot will alter the
The ABB robot is very quick, its main- key system which included the system de- way it positions the bags to suit their size,
tenance is extremely low, and the addition sign, the robot, the gripper, the bag pick-up including the number of bags it places per
of PLCs makes it really simple to use. The conveyor, everything inside the robot cell, slip-sheet, and the number of layers per
equipment is reliable, and we are able to all the safety fencing, and technical after- container, constantly working to maximize
adapt it to the business as we go, says sales support and training, he explains. container space.
Fienberg. The resulting solution is based on an We feel we have been able to provide
Accessing high-quality food manu- ABB IRB 460 high-speed robotic palletiz- a reliable and flexible system that not on-
facturing labor has traditionally been a real er; the compact, 4-axis robot is designed ly allows the customer to keep their costs
challenge for us in Western Australia. How- specifically for end-of-line and bag palletiz- down, but truly offers the ability to be tai-
ever, using the solution weve developed ing, occupies 20 percent less floor space, lored to the clients needs, says Wood-
around the robot, training is now simple. and runs 15 percent faster than its near- house.

ABB robotics 1 | 14 7
Increased productivity

Churning out
milk products
With ABB robots doing the palletizing work,
dairy producer Piracanjuba was able to stay
competitive and use its staff more efficiently.
Text: Cari Simmons Photos: ABB

B
utter, powder milk and UHT milk organisms, enabling customers to store
are some of the products made milk for longer periods of time. The facility
from the 2.3 million liters of milk has 13 Tetra Pak lines working 24 hours
that are processed daily at Pi- a day, 7 days a week.
racanjubas facility in the state of Gois, Normally, each of these lines can pro-
Brazil. Piracanjuba, which is one of Brazils duce from 15 to 25 boxes per minute, re-
main dairy producers, has three plants in quiring about three employees per shift.
the country with a total production capac- Since almost all of the milk producers in
ity of more than 3 million liters of milk a day. Brazil have three shifts per day, each line
Forty percent of the milk at the Gois must have about nine employees dedi-
facility, is processed on Tetra Pak Ul- cated to palletizing. This results in higher
tra High Temperature (UHT) production labor costs for companies with high pro-
lines. The UHT treatment sterilizes the duction capacity.
dairy products by removing any micro- In the past, all of Piracanjubas prod-
ucts were palletized manually by about
75 employees in a repetitive and rather
tiresome physical task. In order to stay
ahead in Brazils highly competitive and
price sensitive market, Piracanjuba and
ABB began discussing how a robotic so-
lution could be adapted to suit the facil-
itys layout and needs and help the com-
pany to reduce costs, gain productivity
and use staff more efficiently.
The Gois facility has 13 Tetra Pak lines working In 2013, ABBs regional application
24 hours a day, 7 days a week. center in Brazil began working with the

8 ABB robotics 1 | 14
Increased productivity

Piracanjuba
Piracanjuba is one of the biggest dairy product producers in Brazil, with three plants in the
country. The biggest facility is located in the state of Gois, where 2.3 million liters of milk are
processed daily into various products such as butter, powder milk and UHT milk products.
www.piracanjuba.com.br

company to automate its palletizing pro- how a big project could be managed so
cess with a robot that could pick the max- easily without any major problems and
imum amount of boxes per cycle without our management team was pleased that
losing time. This resulted in the design of ABB maintained the key responsible peo-
a new layout for high-speed box palletiz- ple in the project from the beginning un-
ing solutions along with a special gripper til the end.
for the IRB 660 industrial robot that was The dairy producer was able to
able to pick different amounts and types achieve its goals regarding costs, qual-
of boxes without the need for a special ity and speed, he adds: We were able
setup. This project was such a success to reduce our workforce in the pallet-
that it has become a standard solution izing area, and make better use of our
for all of Piracanjubas UHT products. employees in other functions or depart-
Now the same solution will be applied ments, where they could gain responsi-
with other customers in Brazil as well as bility by doing more advanced activities.
shared with ABB units worldwide. This allows Piracanjuba to keep growing
In addition to that, it was decided that in a fast and competitive way.
all of the routines and communication be- Today, the robots are working 24 hours
tween the robot solution and Piracanjubas a day and Piracanjuba is ready to begin the
equipment would be done directly by the next project installing five more ABB ro-
robot controller, eliminating the need for a bots in its facility in Southern Brazil.
PLC (Programmable Logic Controller).
ABB was able to adapt its solutions
Scan the QR-code (right)
to our facilitys layout and needs, says
to see the application:
Wagner Paschoalim, Production Manag- Palletizing cell for carton
er, Piracanjuba. We were impressed by package products.

ABB robotics 1 | 14 9
Increased flexibility

Roll out H
igh up in the Black Forest in
southwestern Germany sits
the 221-year-old Rothaus
(Red House) brewery. The

the barrels
beer brewed here has achieved a cult
status among German beer drinkers. To-
day the brewery is equipped with the lat-
est in modern technology, including four
ABB robots that handle the beer kegs
and cases.
World-famous German brewery Rothaus, In the past the way Rothaus used the
so-called keg system to handle its beer
maker of the famous Tannenzpfle beer, created a bottleneck. It managed only
120 barrels per hour and could also only
just modernized its operations with the process the German DIN-keg size. Other

introduction of four ABB robots. units, such as Euro-kegs, had to be pal-


letized manually. Kegs are cylindrical re-
Text & Photo: ABB usable barrels, usually made of stainless

10 ABB robotics 1 | 14
Increased flexibility

steel, with a capacity of 20 liters, 30 li- types and sizes without changing the ro-
RobotStudio is an
ters or 50 liters. bot or its gripper. At the starting point of
Rothaus wanted to increase the flex- the system two or three stacked pallets, unbeatable tool. We
ibility in the area of keg filling, without a each loaded with six kegs, arrive on a know no other product
costly change in the process because of conventional stacker. The pallets are iso-
of this kind.
the increasing number of different keg lated and returned to the unloading sta-
Hans Wegele
types. In addition, the brewery wanted tion. The robots then grasp each keg in
to eliminate gaps in production and have succession, rotate it 180 degrees so the
the same detailed documentation as be- valve comes down to the bottom, and put of the fourth member of the ABB robot
fore. Together with ABB partner Albert it onto the conveyor belt. team: the small IRB 140. Project leader
Frey Dienstleistungs AG, a plant system They couldnt be more reliable and Ralf Krieger, is also pleased with the ABB
producer for breweries and the bever- low-maintenance, says Robert Jger, products. Like the two robots in the fill-
age industry, Rothaus developed the new the Rothaus employee in charge of the ing area, these two were also brought in-
management concept. beer-filling operation, and in comparison to service really quickly, he says.
Instead of the conventional pallet- to the earlier gantry unit they take up a lot All changes between keg types and
izing facility, two ABB IRB 6640 robots less room, too. sizes are handled by the software. With
now load and unload the kegs and handle Once the pallet is empty, it goes over ABBs RobotStudio software, users can
the pallets. The robots can grasp all keg to a test loading robot. At the end of the perform every installation in the system
plant two other IRB 6640 robots take the via a computer. The system can also be
packages, and put them on an empty used while the robot is working and al-
The beer crates pallet. When it is loaded, it goes auto- lows for remote maintenance via the
come tied together, matically to the next one. The filled pal- computer.
for safety during let is transported for shipment and the The software checks the residue in
transport, in a four
process begins again. If there are errors the keg, capacity and pressure condi-
crate wide, two crate
deep configuration. when cleaning or filling, or if the pallet is tions as well as correct temperature and
Removing the safety damaged, the robot sorts it out. cleaning and rinsing agents. The brew-
band is the job of the Only 10 percent of the Rothaus beer ery staff has access to the RFID code of
fourth member of the
ends up in kegs; the rest goes into the at- the transponder, which is associated with
ABB robot team: the
small IRB 140. tractive bottles so loved by beer drinkers each keg. The life cycle of the kegs and
in the country. Of the bottled beer, one the maintenance work is also recorded
in every eight is sold in a six-pack and using RobotStudio.
here again, an ABB robot has a hand in RobotStudio is an unbeatable tool,
passing around the beer. Since 2005, an says Hans Wegele. We know no other
IRB 6640 robot has been assisting the product of this kind.
automated packing machine in which a These are words that the ABB team
24-bottle crate is repacked into four six- members like to hear maybe they will
packs. The IRB 6640s arm can effort- celebrate them by clinking together some
lessly whisk its 142 kilogram load onto a of those attractive foil-topped bottles.
conveyor belt.
The beer crates come tied togeth-
Scan the QR-code (right)
er, for safety during transport, in a four to see ABB robots
crate wide, two crate deep configura- handling beer kegs
tion. Removing the safety band is the job and bottles.

Monastic past
The state-owned Rothaus brewery is located in the hills of Germa-
nys Black Forest, at 1,000 meters above sea level. It was originally
founded in 1791 by the nearby St. Blaisen monastery, but was trans-
fered to the Grand Duchy of Baden in 1806. Sales of the brewerys beer
remain strong even today.

ABB robotics 1 | 14 11
Innovative solutions

Feeding food O
ver the last decade, JLS Au-
tomation, based in Pennsyl-
vania, USA, has become one

packaging
of the go-to companies for
helping primary food packaging custom-
ers switch to robotic automation. Estab-
lished in 1955, JLS was the brainchild of
Joseph L. Souser, father of current Pres-

With a combination of tenacious experi- ident and CEO Craig Souser. Since then,
the company has developed a dynam-
ence and engineering, JLS Automation is ic background and gone through sever-
al changes. Ultimately, the company de-
out to change the food packaging industry cided it needed to choose a market that
showed solid growth potential.
one robot at a time. Were very bullish on where the food
Text & Photos: ABB industry is today and where it could go,

12 ABB robotics 1 | 14
Innovative solutions

Sanitation and the highest levels of cleanliness are vital in the food industry. JLS equipment coupled
with ABBs FlexPicker robots easily meet the need for high standards.

fast that people cant keep up with it. We had to not only develop good tool-
Robots are able to allow the next level of ing, which is fundamental, but also work
technology to be implemented. on the flow of products. We often talk
Starting about 15 years ago, JLS be- about FlexPickers being like airplanes:
gan building its own gantry robotic sys- if theyre not moving theyre not creat-
tems, but as prices for industrial robots ing any value, so we need to keep the ro-
were coming down and new technolo- bots productive and cycling at very high
gies emerged on the market, JLS saw speeds.
an opportunity they couldnt pass up: Another major issue unique to the
signing on to integrate ABBs FlexPicker food industry is sanitation and ensuring
delta-style high speed robotic pickers. the highest levels of cleanliness on the
Robotics didnt exist in 1955 when production and packaging lines. When
we star ted, but when the FlexPick- JLSs equipment is coupled with ABBs
er came along in the early 2000s we FlexPicker robots, those exacting sani-
got on board very quicklyand weve tation standards can be easily met.
been a FlexPicker house ever since, Over time weve had to become very
says Souser. Originally we saw primary skilled in high sanitary design, says
packaging as the only segment that the Souser. Virtually everything we do is
FlexPicker was going to work in. Howev- stainless and almost everything we do
er, today were doing a lot of work in the is capable of being in a wash down envi-
secondary packaging segment and have ronment. We have different levels of san-
developed some solutions for that mar- itary design, but theyre all fundamen-
ket. As technologies have changed and tally meant to get wet, and usually do.
our experience has grown weve been ABB was the first company to com-
JLS Automation able to use robots for applications that
we never imagined early on.
mercialize the delta-style high speed
picking robot, and is still the dominant
JLS Automation, based in Pennsylvania,
USA, is focused on primary and secondary
Designing robotic automation so- player in this regard. It is this long his-
packaging systems. The company has lutions for the modern food packaging tory and experience with the FlexPicker
transitioned from a sales channel for industry can be very tricky. Consum- robots that JLS values.
other motion control products to being a er demands are changing all the time, Were very proud of the relationship
provider of solutions for selected markets.
and packagers have to be able to mod- we have with ABB, says Souser. What
ify their product strategies very quickly weve found is that despite the fact that
sometimes on a minute-by-minute ba- theyre a huge global company, they do
says Craig Souser. When we made the sis. listen to their customers.
switch we felt the food industry was very Primary products are very challeng-
stable, and that has proven to be true. ing to work with, says Souser. These
Scan the QR-code (right)
Food, in general, has not had a signifi- types of products change state quick-
to see ABBs robots
cant amount of automation to this point ly, so its important for us to understand primary food packaging
but modern packaging equipment is so the dynamics and listen to the customer. solutions.

ABB robotics 1 | 14 13
Trends: Masters of flexibility

Masters
of flexibility
The Food and Beverage industry is
changing rapidly. ABB and its partners
are providing the expertise and robotic
solutions to meet the flexibility required
by these new demands.
Text: Nick Chambers Photos: ABB

I
f youre involved in the Food and Bev- this increase mean people are cooking less on the profitability of a Food and Bever-
erage industry you know quite well and depending more on processed or pre- age operation by the way in which they
that it has undergone some dramat- made items. Consumers are also becom- design a solution and the smart ones
ic changes in the recent pastand ing more health conscious and demanding are responding by thinking outside of the
have likely experienced them firsthand. fresher products, which requires shorter conventional box.
Whereas once it was commonplace to delivery times. By replacing conventional machines
have long production runs and a relative- At the same time competition between with industrial robots, the headaches as-
ly limited group of standard package siz- food and beverage brands, as well as dis- sociated with the demands of the mod-
es, end-users are now more interested in tributors and retailers, is fierce, and pack- ern Food and Beverage industry can be
on-demand packaging, short production aging plays a greater role in this battle for met head-on. Six-axis robots provide the
runs, mix-and-match variety packs and consumer eyeballs and loyalty. Food safety flexibility needed for incredibly dynamic
individualized packaging configurations. is also an increasing concern, so much so production environments, while sacrific-
In addition, the time between order- that the desire for food and beverage prod- ing none of the speed or accuracy of con-
ing a new production line and the start of ucts that have been untouched by human ventional equipment.
production is shrinking while the contain- hands during their processing is rising. With robotic automation it becomes an
ers are becoming more intricate and por- When all of these factors are taken to- easy task to change package styles and
tions more uniform in order to be pleasing gether, its enough to make even the most configurations as the market demands, as
to consumers. hardened production supervisors lose well as change production lines quickly to
Around the world more and more peo- sleep or even hair. remove unpopular products and introduce
ple are eating packaged foods and buying new ones. In fact, some processors these
consumer goods in association with an in- Flexible robotics can help days may only have 20-40 minute runs or
creased standard of living and population Equipment manufacturers are realizing very short contracts to produce a particu-
growth. Lifestyle changes associated with the truly profound impact they can have lar item. A common misperception is that

14 ABB robotics 1|14


Trends: Masters of flexibility

Automated systems ensure better


hygiene by keeping human hands
off food products.

robots are only suitable for long runs of the ers to incorporate and maintain robotic for those operations that want to remain
same product when in reality a robot typi- systems. Increasing ease of use and de- competitive.
cally has the fastest changeover once pro- veloping standardized function packag- Over time, robots have proven them-
grammed and can adapt quickly to chang- es are therefore essential for the industry. selves critical to creating the flexible,
ing production contracts. Robots can also At ABB we have addressed these is- agile and speedy solutions that todays
drastically shorten the time between pro- sues with many new products, including Food and Beverage operations need to
duction and delivery to a retailer, thereby PC-based programming and simulation remain competitive. Modern robotic sys-
allowing for the sale of fresher products. tools such as Pickmaster 3, our Picking tems from ABB and its partners can deal
Food safety concerns regarding con- PowerPac and our Palletizing PowerPac, with speeds and situations that humans
tamination and tracking products as they as well as standardized solutions such simply cant, as well as handle things that
move through the system are also ad- as our Integrated Vision, RacerPack flow were previously thought to be impossible
dressed by robotics due to the nature of packaging solution, and other plug-and- to automate. They can fit into very small
automated systems and the lack of hu- play function packages. We have also in- footprints and eliminate the convention-
man hands touching the product. creased the flexibility of our robots with an al equipment that typically needs large,
entire family of IRB 360 FlexPickers, a fam- fixed spaces to work.
Addressing challenges ily of palletizing robots and 6-axis articulat- In short, industrial robots can now
To this point, the Food and Beverage in- ed robots to meet virtually any requirement. handle almost any task required by the
dustry has operated on a fairly low lev- ABBs aim is to decrease the percep- Food and Beverage industry, but it takes
el of technology and the thought of em- tion that robots are a specialized piece of a team of knowledgeable experts to help
ploying robotics has remained a daunting production equipment that requires too your operation make the leap. With ABB
task. To automate these kinds of opera- much training and effort to integrate. In at your back, you know that expertise is
tions it is a must to have tools that en- reality, they are the masters of flexibility available anytime and anywhere for any
able more integrators and end custom- and should be seen as a standard item type of project.

ABB robotics 1|14 15


Increased productivity

Pasta, present
and future
The biggest branded food producer in
Argentina stacks delicate bags of pasta
faster and more efficiently with robotic
automation.
Text: Charles Newbery Photos: Eduardo Gil

A
t Molinos Rio de la Platas dried We have been designing, manu-
pasta factory outside Buenos facturing and commissioning cells with
Aires, Argentina, the floor is al- nearly 15 robots installed since then,
most spotless. An automated says Ulises Strangis, ABB Robotics Proj-
system moves a handful of the 240,000 ect Manager. During this time we have
bags of daily produced pasta swirls and customized several kinds of mechanical
cylinder-shaped mostacciolis from a mix- and vacuum grippers.
ing station to bagging and stacking on With a reach of 3.15 meters and 180
pallets without ever touching the ground. kilograms of payload the robot turns,
Argentinas biggest dried pasta mak- twists and lowers its large arm to scoop
er, with its fast-growing Lucchetti brand, up bags of pasta and neatly stack them Robot benefits
is speeding up production processes and on pallets, alternating between two con- Increase in productivity:
improving product quality with robot- veyer belts feeding it up to 240 bags a 10 percent
ic automation. This is helping it keep up minute. The gripper lays a sheet of kraft Lower labor costs
with demand and maintain a competitive paper between each stack. A forklift driv- Easy to design automation
edge in this pasta-loving country. er then moves the completed pallets to process with RobotStu-
And talk about good timing: Molinos a machine that secures it with a plastic dio Palletizing PowerPac
first turned to ABB robots in 2008, the film before another forklift operator hauls simulation software
same year that ABB Argentina began them to an adjacent distribution center Changes made without
working with palletizing applications. The brimming with ready-to-ship pallets. fiddling with hardware
latest installation at the plant is an IRB Molinos has installed six ABB ro-
660 floor-mounted palletizing robot at the bots at the Lucchetti plant, which has in-
Lucchetti plant. creased productivity by 10 percent, says

16 ABB robotics 1 | 14
Increased productivity

The latest addition to


the Molinos facility, an
IRB 660, neatly stacks
up to 240 bags of
pasta a minute.

Production Manager Robert Hagen. cording to global marketing research firm turers that have lower cost structures,
Thats a huge number for us, he says. ACNielsen. and to sustain profits even as 25 percent
Another upside is an easier flowing To keep up, Molinos turned to ABB annual inflation pushes up fuel, ingredi-
process at the end of the line, says Hagen. to help design an automated and con- ents, labor and packaging costs.
Flow is vital for feeding the high de- tinuous production line. A manual solu- We can compete if we are efficient in
mand for pasta in Argentina, the worlds tion was out of the question, says Moli- making a large production quantity,
ninth largest dried pasta market accord- nos Process Engineer Javier Holoveski. Holoveski says.
ing to Euromonitor International. Loading each 7.5 to 10-kilogram set of All of these considerations went into
In 2009, when Molinos came out with pasta bags on the pallets is an expensive the design of the new palletizing robot.
a catchy advertising campaign for Luc- and strenuous job that had led to recur- Molinos had previously installed five
chetti, the company saw its share of the ring injuries on older lines. such robots, with two start-
dried pasta market surge to 14.2 percent Increased automation also helps Mo- ing on the Lucchetti spa-
by 2011, up from 11.8 percent in 2008 ac- linos compete against smaller manufac- ghetti line and another on

ABB robotics 1 | 14 17
Increased productivity

Further automation
is planned for the
Molinos facility which
will speed up end-
of-the-line processes
even more.

the Lucchetti swirls and mostacciolis


line in June 2009. Molinos Rio de la Plata
This time, however, the compa-
ny wanted a system that could do even Founded in 1902 by Ernesto Bunge and Jorge Born, Molinos Rio de la Plata
more. What clinched the deal was the has grown from a wheat miller to the biggest branded food products maker in
RobotStudio Palletizing PowerPac simu- Argentina. It operates 20 manufacturing plants and 10 distribution centers and
lation software, which Holoveski confides employs 5,000 people. Initially specializing in wheat processing, Molinos has
is as fun for an engineer as a video game. expanded into animal feed, pasta, rice, chicken nuggets, coffee, frozen ham-
Molinos and another Argentine company burgers, margarine, sausages and vegetable oils. Today it meets 11percent of
were the worlds first to use this powerful food demand in Argentina and exports to more than 50 countries. Expansion
simulation software. picked up pace after Argentinas Perez Companc family bought control of the
The factory managers played with company in 1999. Under the familys control, Molinos has expanded into the
the 3D program for three months, exper- commodities business, biodiesel and wine, helping to diversify revenue streams.
imenting with different processes and The latest ventures include the purchase of a stake in an Italian gourmet food
bouncing ideas off each other and ABBs maker and the takeover of a Chilean food company.
team. Sometimes it can be hard to ex-
plain whats in your mind, but when you
see an image you can explain it better, The final design choice also allowed for higher so trucks can be filled to the brim,
and this leads to more ideas, Holoveski other ABB products to be implemented. making better use of transport capacity.
says. Each idea can fix a future problem Af ter selecting the design, we Molinos also wants to add a sheet of pa-
and save time and money. thought about including automation con- per under the first layer of bags to protect
After exploring five designs, they set- trol systems, low voltage products and them from the rough wood of the pallet.
tled on one with improvements such as enclosures from the ABB group, says The good thing is that were never
programming the grippers movements Ulises Strangis. talking about hardware, only software,
to avoid crushing the pasta when pick- Further improvements can be made. Holoveski says. This makes it a lot eas-
ing up the bags. The software was then Molinos is working with ABB on speeding ier to make changes.
downloaded to the robot in a few min- up the end-of-line process so the pallets
utes and operations started, saving the run automatically to the plastic wrapping
Scan the QR code (right) to
company six to eight months in detect- machine, halving forklift duties to one op- see how ABB robots stack
ing, confirming and reengineering glitch- erator. Another plan is to update the ro- delicate bags of pasta
es of new machinery. bot palletizing application to stack pallets faster and more efficiently.

18 ABB robotics 1 | 14
Products

Innovative products from ABB


Integrated Vision
ABB Integrated Vision is a powerful smart improve quality, troubleshoot challenging
camera system that makes vision-guided lines and processes and significantly
robotics applications faster and easier expand their use of robotic automation.
to deploy than ever before. Using 2D Vision-guided robotics can save time,
vision guidance, manufacturers have the money and resources, all of which
ability to track products more accurately, significantly improve a companys bottom
improve supply chain management, line.

Commissioning
ABB will introduce three new apps for available in the Microsoft Windows store
robot commissioning to complement the when RobotStudio 5.60 is launched.
pre-existing Manage app. The new ap- ABBs simulation and offline program-
ps include Tune for editing programs, ming software, RobotStudio, allows ro-
Adjust for robot calibration and Jog bot programming to be done on a PC in
for manual control of the robots. Alto- the office without interrupting or shutting
gether these four apps represent the fu- down production.
ture of robot commissioning on the shop A robot that is well commissioned will
floor and are designed to run on tab- run better, be more reliable, use less en-
lets using Windows 8.1. Each app will be ergy and have a longer life.

PickMaster options
ABBs PickMaster is a sophisticated lines with round toppings.
tool for guiding high-speed robots in There are two PickMaster products
the packaging process. The PC-based to choose from, PickMaster 3 for pack-
software product uses comprehensive aging objects on a conveyor and Pick-
graphical interfaces to configure pow- Master 5 for palletizing applications.
erful applications to control up to eight Both use the same graphical design
robots along conveyor belts. concept and software structure so that
A camera is calibrated using a special users can easily understand both prod-
grid to indicate the size and location of ucts.
the part on the conveyor. The 3D scan- PickMaster 3 uses a high-perfor-
ning locates each object precisely on mance, robust vision system to pin-
an x-, y- and z-axis, allowing the robot point random objects. Powerful quality-
to pick up and pack any type of small inspection tools let you categorize your
object, from delicate croissants coming products and make sure the defective
straight from the oven to chocolate pra- ones are sorted out.

FlexGripper Claw
ABBs FlexGripper Claw is an easy-to- contributes to holding the goods in po-
install tool that can be combined with sition while the robot is in motion. The
ABBs IRB 460 or IRB 660 palletizing ro- FlexGripper Claw is easy to program with
bots for high-speed palletizing of bags. its standardized Graphical User Interface
The FlexGripper Claw has been updated (GUI). A pick-and-place test can be done
with a new pneumatic motion for lateral with a single click. The FlexGripper Claw
steering. Objects can now be placed with can handle bags of up to 50 kilos contain-
even better precision thanks to this lateral ing a variety of contents. It contains stain-
steering that holds goods in place when less steel parts and is user friendly even
the claw opens. This lateral steering also in the toughest of environments.

ABB robotics 1 | 14 19
Increased flexibility

A taste for
productivity
Delicious, creamy and alluringly tender, Coppenrath &
Wieses baked goods get from the oven to your belly
with the help of IRB 360 Flex Pickers and IRB 4600s.
Text & Photos: ABB

20 ABB robotics 1 | 14
Increased flexibility

F
or cake lovers, Mettingen in
North Rhine-Westphalia, Ger-
many, is a mouthwatering para-
dise. Its home to family-owned
frozen desser t maker Coppenrath
& Wiese, whose ovens bake around
260,000 cream cakes and three million
rolls every day. The company also makes
strudels, biscuits and cream rolls on 25
highly flexible production lines at the fa-
cility.
In 2011 Coppenrath & Wiese intro-
duced the dessert cup to help the com-
pany produce an assortment of sweet
bakery products and bread rolls. The in training and by exchanges with ABB One of four ABB IRB 360 robots packaging
lids of transparent plastic cups for the experts. Deeper questions were handled frozen dessert products.

desserts needed be placed automatical- from both sides during coaching ses-
ly a difficult task since the lid covers sions.
were not flat, but had an unusual curved On its most recent production line,
shape. Its no coincidence that the first which went into operation in mid-2013,
robot was commissioned at Coppenrath the company chose four IRB 360 ro-
& Wiese that year. bots for packaging and two 6-axis IRB
ABBs Delta robot IRB 360 FlexPicker 4600s for conversion boxes. This line has
fit the companys plans perfectly. two products, including the new pastry
ABB has become our robot supplier Sweet Spell. Each package contains
for several reasons, says Dietmar Lehm- six small sweets with cream topping and
kuhl, who, together with colleagues, fruity filling.
manages the equipment at Coppenrath The individually quick frozen (IQF)
& Wiese. The robot can be cleaned very products are transported into the pack-
easily; several other manufacturers could ing facility and every tray with 24 sweets
not meet this important criterion. The de- is collected. On a conveyor line, four
cision to go with ABB was also made be- successively arranged IRB 360s go over
cause there is only need for one control- them with their multiple grippers, contin-
ler to manage the robots. uously moving six pastries at a time to
In 2012, the engineering department their packaging.
at Coppenrath & Wiese integrated fifteen
more flex pickers onto several produc-
The robots work with ABBs Pickmas-
ter software for the simpler programming
Coppenrath
tion lines. The technicians were provid- multi-robot applications. Another useful & Wiese
ed with the necessary knowledge about program that was used during implemen- Cakes, tarts, creamy pastries and other
robot technology and programming both tation was RobotStudio, ABBs simula- sweet treats are Coppenrath & Wieses
tion program. ABB technicians were able specialty. Europes largest producer of
frozen desserts has been in business since
Robot benefits to simulate, in advance, the ideal location
the early 1970s when businessman Aloys
High speed flexibility and working height of the robot as well as Coppenrath and his cousin, confectioner
High capacity up to an the cycle times, and found that the IRB Josef Wiese, joined forces on a revolutionary
8 kilogram payload 4600 was a perfect fit for this task. idea to freeze their products directly after
baking them. This ensures that the baked
Hygienic design for wash- I appreciate the highly motivated em-
goods remain fresh until they are ready to
down applications ployees at ABB, and the short distanc- be eaten.
Superior tracking perfor- es to their location, says Lehmkuhl. For Based in Northern Germany, the
mance us it is always possible to drive to ABB company has since expanded with a
number of branches and distribution centres
Integrated vision software Friedberg to look at and test the equip-
throughout Europe and the United States.
Integrated control of ment onsite. With a foreign robot manu-
indexing belts facturer that would have been difficult.

ABB robotics 1 | 14 21
Improved workplace health and safety

Size matters
G
ABB robots are at the heart of Australias eorge Weston Foods (GWF)
is one of Australia and New
largest food palletizing solution. Zealands largest food man-
ufacturers, employing around
Text: Charles Newbery Photos: Eduardo Gil 8,000 people at nearly 60 sites. The new
GWF production facility in Castlemaine,
Victoria, is now home to Australias larg-
est robotic palletizing system, featuring 16
ABB palletizing robots.
The GWF Castlemaine operation pro-
duces a wide range of small goods which
are supplied to consumers through the
retail food service and small distributor
networks. The factory is divided into four
key plants: ham, bacon, salami and con-
tinental small goods. Each of these pro-
duction areas is serviced by a shared
palletizer and distribution service.
Sixteen ABB robots serve 32 pack-
aging lines at GWF Castlemaine, mak-
ing it the biggest robotic palletizing sys-
tem in the country. The palletizing line
collects over 450 different products at
the rate of about 9,000 cartons per hour,
coming from four different packing ar-
eas. Some 27 lines and more than a kilo-
meter of conveyor bring products into the
palletizing cell, which has 16 ABB robots
serving 32 pallet stations, and another
robot at the front of the station prepar-
ing the pallets. Finally, two rail systems
with four shuttles deposit the finished
pallets at two stretch wrapper stations,
which wrap more than 100 loaded pallets
an hour and feed them to the automated
guided vehicles (AGVs).
Before implementing the robots the
problems we experienced were from
manual handling, including occupational,
health and safety (OHS) issues, downtime,
not getting the products out fast enough,
and labor costs, says GWF packaging
team leader Troy Thomas. I think the de-
fining factor was knowing that we could
eliminate a lot of manual handling and re-
move a fair bit of the labor costs associat-
ed with the manual handling.
Kim Martin, GWFs supply chain man-
ager agrees: We had challenges with re-
tailers in terms of making sure the con-
sistency and quality of the pallets were
what they required for their automated

22 ABB robotics 1 | 14
Increased workplace health and safety

networks. And like everyone else, we also George Weston Foods palletizing line collects ry Hendy, ADDE General Manager, knew
had increasing labor costs and concerns over 450 different products at the rate of about that ABB robots were a perfect fit for the
9,000 cartons per hour.
about our ability to reach the productiv- food producer: We chose ABBs IRB
ity targets we needed in order to remain 4600 robot because the orientation and
competitive. positioning of the cartons needed a sixth
The market trend is towards small- axis, so we needed the extra dexterity
er, more shelf-ready pack sizes. Obvi- of a six-axis robot to ensure the stations
ously that increases the repetitiveness of would be able to handle all of the palletiz-
the tasks the team here needed to do, ing tasks coming in from the conveyors.
therefore increasing our OHS risk as well, Line configuration was chosen based
which is probably the main risk that we on the speed of the individual lines. Each
have on site, says Martin. automated row is able to look after two
He also reveals that the company up- lines and maintain the rates on those two
graded its ability to manage production lines, which dictates the line configuration
speed and volume at its central distribu- of 16 robots, serving the 32 pallet stations.
tion space, and that the installation also
brought improvements to worker safety.
Other improvements include sig-
Scan the QR-code (right)
nificantly reduced levels of pallet rejec- to see the solution:
tions from customers, and the ability to Palletizing Cartons.
deal smoothly with the production vol-
ume now being processed out of this site
as each of the facilities has come online,
says Martin. We have also seen a huge George Weston Foods
improvement in OHS injuries associated George Weston Foods Limited (GWF) is one of Australia and New Zea-
with palletizing, because we have largely lands largest food manufacturers. The production facility in Castlemaine
eliminated that task. Victoria is home to Australias largest robotic palletizing system, featuring
Melbourne-based Andrew Donald 16 palletizing robots.
Design Engineering (ADDE) designed
and installed the system for GWF. Bar-

ABB robotics 1 | 14 23
Improving uptime without costing the earth.

ABB provides products, systems and services that increase industrial productivity and
energy efficiency for a wide range of picking, packing or palletizing applications. Our
robots, drives and servo motors provide a high level of hygienic, flexible and reliable
automation in these labour-intensive application areas. ABBs automation can really
be the key to improving uptime, product quality and workplace safety, whilst reducing
energy consumption and waste.

For more information visit www.abb.com/robotics