Availability of automation technologies to improve CPG processing and packaging operations is not a problem CPG manufacturers and the OEMs that serve the CPG market face. Instead, the automation issues they face typically center on the integration and interoperability of automation hardware and software. At PACK EXPO International 2022, Bosch Rexroth (Booth S-1620) is showcasing its manufacturing hardware, software, and applications designed to be open for integration flexibility.
To highlight the interoperability of several automation technologies, Bosch Rexroth’s exhibit features a live multi-technology demo in which a robotic pick-and-place CPG application uses several technologies from the company’s Factory Automation portfolio. Here, visitors can see a lightweight Kassow collaborative robot pick up products from a moving VarioFlow plus conveyor to place them on a pallet.
Bosch Rexroth points out that VarioFlow plus conveyors are suitable for CPG applications because the plastic chain surface is nearly closed, allowing even the smallest of parts to be transported safely and reliably.
Once the pallet is full, Rexroth’s MP1000R autonomous mobile robot, made in collaboration with Geek+, moves the product to a storage location using Rexroth’s Rokit Locator software. Navigating autonomously, the MP1000R brings a second pallet full of product back to the VarioFlow plus conveyor where the Kassow cobot loads more boxes onto it.
Also highlighted at the Bosch Rexroth exhibit are:
ctrlX Automation Cube—a four-sided demo designed to illustrate the modularity and scalability of ctrlX Automation while spotlighting the ctrlX Drive and ctrlX Core industrial PC capabilities. Bosch Rexroth notes that ctrlX Core is designed for IT/OT integration with its support for Java, Python, and Node Red.
ctrlX Automation products are designed to allow for new automation functions to be added via apps, making automation integration more like using a smartphone. Bosch Rexroth says the open and platform-neutral system architecture of ctrlX Automation means that it can be integrated into any automation infrastructure and communicate directly with higher-level shop floor and enterprise IT systems.
In its PACK EXPO International exhibit, Bosch Rexroth uses a three-axis ctrlX Drive linked to a ctrlX Core industrial PC running in real-time. Other components, such as ctrlX IO, ctrlX HMI and the MS2N synchronous motor are also used. This demonstration is designed to show how the scalable, app-based ctrlX Automation platform can be applied in a packaging line to reduce component and engineering costs by 30-50%. Specific examples shown include systems for a vertical form, fill, and seal machine; a filler, capper, and labeler machine; a collator/cartoner machine; and a pick-and-place bundler/palletizer machine.
Smart Linear Robots: Bosch Rexroth’s new linear robots, automation hardware, and software for applications such as materials handling, pick-and-place, palletizing or dispensing are also highlighted in the company’s exhibit at PACK EXPO International. Bosch Rexroth notes that its mechatronic platforms, such as those built with its smart linear robots, can be integrated into higher-level systems through its use of open interfaces and end effectors. In this part of the exhibit, the Bosch Rexroth Smart Function Kit for Handling is combined with a working multi-axis linear robot system to show how predefined multi-axis combinations can be sized, configured, and ordered as one part number using the Bosch Rexroth eTools software demonstration. The Smart Function Kit for Handling software app runs on the Rexroth ctrlX Automation platform for fast commissioning through automatic parameterization of the servo drive.