OMRON and Reeco have taken collaborative robotics innovation to the next level with the development ofthe RB1200 cobot palletizer that costs up to 50% less and has a 60% smaller footprint than a conventional robot palletizer. These game-changing metrics have a radical impact on project payback, making endof-line robotic automation economically attractive to producers of all sizes for the first time.
The concept of collaborative robots working alongside humans has already been proven in automotive, warehousingand fulfilment environments. We believe the time is right and the technology is ready for this nextgenerationautomation approach to be adopted for palletizing tasks across a range of industries, from food and drink to personal care and pharmaceuticals,” comments Dan Rossek, Marketing Manager for OMRON UK.
He continues: “Designed together with our solution partner Reeco Automation, the RB1200 has the potential to revolutionize palletizing. Our offering is unparalleled in terms of its size, affordability and agility. The ease with which it can be set up for different products and layouts and redeployed around the factory floor is phenomenal.”
COBOTS REPLACE ROBOTS
Although a mainstay of FMCG production lines for many years, robot palletizers take up considerable floor space, are complex to specify and programme, and are almost impossible to redeploy to another location, making them costprohibitive for many SMEs.
In contrast, Reeco and OMRON’s RB1200 cobot palletizer is a compact plug-and-play system that can be easily switched between lines. This ensures users can maximize their investment by providing flexibility to cope with rapid changes in demand across the factory.
Without the need for all-round guarding, the RB1200 measures just 2.2 x 3.2m, which equates to a 60% size reduction versus a typical 4x4m cartesian palletizer. The cobot is inherently safe, using optical laser scanners to monitor the immediate area and stopping operation if potential human contact is identified.
UP TO 50% LESS EXPENSIVE
Based on a standardized platform and without the need of a heavyduty sub-frame to support a large robot arm, the RB1200 has a more streamlined automation infrastructure at a dramatically reduced cost. The purchase price
is up to 50% less than a comparable traditional palletizer robot, making it a viable investment for many businesses that have previously ruled out robotics on cost grounds.
The cobot’s intrinsic flexibility also contributes to a compelling payback case; the lack of extraneous kitmakes the RB1200 easy to move between lines. “The RB1200 is light and transportable; it can easily be moved by pump truck to another line within minutes. By contrast, to redeploy a traditional robot palletizer to another partof the factory would be a huge undertaking, requiring a significant logistics effort and considerable time,” explains Dan.
CHANGES AT THE TOUCH OF A SCREEN
Not only is it easy to relocate the RB1200, but product, pack and layout configuration changes can be completed in minutes using Reeco’s EasyStack visual software. No programming skills or robot experience is required to redesign a pallet pattern – the operator simply has to enter a few parameters such as box and pallet dimensions, define the layout for the first and second layers, then repeat for as many layers as required.
From order to installation within 2-3 weeks, the RB1200 slashes the wait time of a traditional robot by months. Aswell as minimal programming requirements, to achieve fast fulfilment the plug-and-play cobot is fitted with astandard, unique, universal end- effector which can handle 90%+ of box- based products. Reeco Automation can also provide custom-designed tooling for special application requirements.
AUTOMATION FOR ALL
With a maximum payload of 10 kg and a cycle time of 12 picks per minute, the RB1200 cobot palletizer is ideallysuited for small to medium volume producers.
As OMRON’s first cobot solution partner, Reeco is looking forward to presenting the RB1200 to the market in conjunction with OMRON. “The cobot palletizer is an off-the shelf, market-ready solution that represents great value for money, with no hidden costs in design or engineering. Leasing options and a fixed service contract are also available, making next-generation, end-of-line automation a reality for FMCG producers of all sizes,” saysReeco Managing Director Llewelyn.