Fanuc Robots and Cobots for Packaging and End-of-Line Applications

Oct. 23, 2022
At PACK EXPO International 2022, Fanuc showcases its new DR-3iB/6, LR-10iA/10, and M-10iD/12 and M-20iD/25 robots for food handling and picking applications, as well as several other robots and cobots for loading, palletizing, and packing operations.

Consumer packaged goods (CPG) companies face an array of automation choices when it comes to applying robotics in pick-and-place, packaging, and end-of-line operations such as palletizing. To help CPG companies better understand their robot and cobot (collaborative robot) options, Fanuc (booth N-6116) is showcasing a broad variety of its robots for a range of applications at PACK EXPO International, with a particular focus on food handling.

Three new robot introductions in its exhibit this year are its DR-3iB/6 stainless steel delta robot, LR-10iA/10 vision-guided robot, and M-10iD/12 and M-20iD/25, food-grade robots.

Delta robot for high speed pick-and place

The DR-3iB/6 robot is Fanuc’s stainless steel food-grade delta robot for picking and packing primary foods. The robot has an enclosed stainless-steel body that is resistant to chemicals and the high pressure and temperatures required in wash down environments.  It has a 1200mm reach (450mm height) and a four-axis design allowing for handling up to 6kg payloads at high speeds. This new robot uses Fanuc’s latest R-30iB Plus controller with integrated intelligent functions such as iRVision, force sensing, robot link, collision guard and zero down time. The R-30iB programmable machine control has access to the entire robot I/O system, enabling it to carry out separate or asynchronal control of peripheral devices with detrimental effects to robot performance. Additional features of the DR-3iB/6 robot include use of NSF H1 food grade lubricant, secondary oil catch basins with viewing windows to monitor potential leaks, self-draining surfaces, and other details to address USDA/FDA standards.

In its demonstration at PACK EXPO, the DR-3iB/6 robot uses Fanuc’s 3DV iRVision and iRPickTool line tracking software to randomly pick pieces of chicken from a continuous infeed conveyor. Using a Soft Robotics gripper, the robot picks chicken breasts and reorients them onto an outfeed conveyor.  

Compact 6-axis robot

Another new robot Fanuc is highlighting at PACK EXPO International is its LR-10iA/10 robot. This robot is designed for machine tending and picking applications, and with a weight of 46 kg, it can be floor-mounted, mounted upside down, on an angle, or ona mobile robot.  In it demonstration at PACK EXPO, LR-10iA/10 robot is guided by several 3DV/400 vision sensors mounted above the work cell to enable picking of various combinations of products from four separate totes to demonstrate order fulfillment. When the order tote is completed, it moves to the opposite side of the cell, where an LR Mate 200iD robot picks and places each item back onto the conveyor, sorting them by color to refill the pick totes.  

Food handling robots

TheM-10iD/12 andM-20iD/25, food-grade robot is another new set of robots on display from Fanuc. These robots are designed for users in the food industry that need high-speed and high-payload robots. Both robots feature food-grade oil on all axes, stainless-steel wrist flanges, motor covers, corrosion-resistant fasteners, white epoxy paint, and Fanuc’s Severe Dust & Liquid Protection package.

The demonstration of the M-10iD/12 at PACK EXPO highlights the robot’s speed and flexibility to handle various payloads. In this demo, it picks bags of rice packages off dual conveyors and packs them into a box.

Cobot options

Since last year’s PACK EXPO, Fanuc has expanded its series of CRX collaborative robots with the new CRX-5iA, CRX-20iA/L and CRX-25iA, which can reportedly run for eight years without maintenance.  These new CRX cobots bring Fanuc’s line of CR and CRX cobots to 11 model variations for handling products ranging from 4 to 35 kg.

Industry-specific demonstrations of these robots at PACK EXPO include:

  • Loading Storage Carts—Fanuc’s new CRX-20iA/L cobot is equipped with a 3DV/200 vision sensor enabling it to pick items of varying sizes and shapes that weigh up to 20kg and load them onto a storage cart. The demonstration with this cobot highlights its motion range and ability to handle large and heavy packages.
  • Palletizing—A CRX-25iA robot with a 25kg payload, 1,889mm reach, and guided by a 3DV/200 vision sensor mounted to the arm, palletizes boxes to nearly seven feet high. A key cobot functionality of this robot is its ability to be repositioned by hand and use vision to automatically adjust to its position in new locations, enabling to resume operations accurately.
  • Packing—A CRX-10iA is used to demonstrate packing health and beauty products.  In this demonstration, attendees can try the cobot’s intuitive hand guidance and tablet programming.   

Additional robot demos

Two further robot demos at Fanuc’s PACK EXPO International exhibit include:

The SR-12iA SCARA Environmental Option robot is used to pack and unpack four-packs of two-liter pop bottles. This demonstration shows the SR-12iA’s ability to handle heavy products in a wide operating area at high speeds.
  • The demo of M-410iC/110 robot alternates between picking cases from two conveyors and palletizing a mixed layer unit load to depalletize the product from the pallet back to the two conveyors.  While the system is running, visitors can create their own custom unit loads from Fanuc’s Tablet TP.  This robot is designed for high-volume case, bag, and bottle palletizing operations and features a 110kg payload, four-axes of motion, a compact footprint, and a slim arm with through-arm cable routing to minimize interference with tooling and other peripheral devices.  
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