Robot power leads the way

Automation is increasingly part and parcel of the packing process.

ABB Robotics

ABB Robotics has launched the PalletPack 460, a pre-engineered package of proven robotic palletizing components featuring the new IRB 460 robot designed specifically for high speed end-of-line palletizing.
The packaged configuration offers integrated hardware with full documentation, says ABB, reducing overall project costs and significantly reducing set-up engineering time. It will allow integrators to more easily specify and design palletizing systems, and reduce the barriers for end-users to realize the benefits of robotic palletizing automation.
Klas Bengtsson, product manager for ABB’s picking, packing and palletizing offer, says: “This new function package allows integrators with little robotic experience to enter this market. The PalletPack is so easy to work with, without the need for any special robot programming know-how. Robot, grippers, safety and cell control PLCs, graphical HMI and software all come ready to plug-in and produce.”
Available for either high-speed bag palletizing or compact end-of-line case palletizing, the function package consists of an IRB 460 palletizing robot, a Flex-Gripper – either the Claw or one-zone Clamp gripper, an ABB control PLC, an ABB safety PLC, PalletWare support software, user documentation, and the ABB FlexPendant featuring an easy-to-use graphical HMI.
The heart of the PalletPack is the IRB 460, one of the fastest known palletizing robots on the market. The 4-axis IRB 460 features a reach of 2.4 metres and 110-kilogram capacity, with a compact footprint that makes it ideal for integration into existing packing lines.
A prime feature of the PalletPack is the programming wizard which makes the programming very similar to that used for a traditional PLC. This enables PLC programmers without specific robotic experience to program the system, eliminating the complications that can arise when special skills are required.
The programming and operation are carried out via the user friendly FlexPendant, the standard ABB Robotics HMI. This features a graphical interface with four user-friendly screens: pallet and pick setup, pallet pattern set-up, path profile edition and movement edition.
Bengtsson adds: “Programming times for the PalletPack 460 can be reduced by as much as 65% compared to traditional methods, shortening the return on investment and making robotic palletizing highly attractive to a wide range of end-users. What used to take days now takes only minutes. Robot programmers are an increasingly rare resource, so this package is truly transformational.”

Image: The new IRB 460