ULMA Packaging installs an automated box packing system for thermoformed packages in Belgium

Jul 12, 2017
ULMA Packaging has designed an innovative automated robotic box packing system for thermoformed packages in a Belgian plant. The production plant, which processes the product and packages it in slices, is one of the five plants owned by the business group and is one of the leading cold meat plants in Europe.

The automated robotic box packing system for thermoformed packages with sliced products developed by ULMA Packaging consists of numerous different elements that enable the solution to perform its various functions, such as destacking folded boxes and opening boxes, robots that load the product into boxes or bucket elevators, weight and metal checking machines, rejection of unsuitable products at the exit end of the packaging machine with a 2-axis robot or a shrink wrap bagging machine for groups of stacks of trays.

One of the aims of this solution was to meet the client's need to handle all production, with its different formats and at the required speeds, with as little downtime as possible during format changes. Therefore, the equipment was dimensioned to handle 192 trays per minute, at a maximum of 24 boxes per minute.

At the exit end of the thermoforming machine, it was decided to include a system that rejects poorly sealed or labelled containers, with a 2-axis robot. Then, the whole of production converges from 4 to 2 rows, to enable weight and metal checking to be performed.

All of production is arranged into two rows, to be handled by two Delta robots and packed straight into plastic boxes or in a bucket elevator, where the product is stacked and later packed in a shrink wrap bagging machine. In a box-supply area, the boxes are de-stacked and the folded boxes are automatically opened before being sent to the box packing area.

This has been an extremely demanding project, because of the tight deadline, the speed specifications required by the system in terms of trays and boxes per minute and the quality and reliability required by a client of this kind.

ULMA Packaging's experience in similar projects involving plastic box packing with an automated supply, robot handling and shrink wrap machines, along with the competitive edge given to ULMA by its affiliated company that provides a great client-driven service, have been key in making ULMA Packaging a trusted supplier. The final result is a robust product line and a solution that meets the client's needs, which we hope will be the basis for meeting future requirements.