ESS Technologies, Inc: Track-and-trace robotic case packing

ESS and Xyntek-Antares partner for pharmaceutical and medical device case packing serialization and track-and-trace applications.

ESS Omni-vision
ESS Omni-vision

ESS Technologies, Inc. and Xyntek-Antares have partnered to develop a track-and-trace case-packing solution to be demonstrated at Interphex NY 2013.

The new ESS Technologies TaskMate® Robotic Case Erector/Loader will be integrated with the Xyntek-Antares Turn-key Serialization solution, which features the Antares Tracking System software and the Omnivision 360° Bottle Tracking System for serialization and aggregation, creating an automated case erector/loader with integrated track-and-trace capability. This system allows pharmaceutical and medical device manufacturers to automate the case packing process; as well as to provide unit serialization and track-and-trace technology for all of the products being case-packed.

The TaskMate® Robotic Case Erecting and Loading System integrates a FANUC LR Mate 200iC/5L multiaxis robot with ESS-designed end-of-arm tooling (EOAT) to create a compact and low-cost case packing system. Other FANUC robot models may be specified, depending on the required payload. Vacuum cups on the special robot EOAT pick an RSC case blank from a magazine. The case is erected, the bottom is taped closed, and the case is placed in the loading position. For the Interphex NY demonstration, bottles will be fed to the robotic cell via a conveyor. The Xyntek-Antares Omnivision 360° Bottle Tracking System will read the unique serial number on the labeled bottle and aggregate it to a “dummy” code on the bottom of the bottle. This aggregation will enable  100% verification of the bottles as they are packed by the TaskMate® Robotic Case Erector into the case.

After the bottles leave the Xyntek-Antares Omnivision 360° Bottle Tracking System, they are collated into a 4x3 pack pattern. The robot will then pick the entire pack pattern and load it into the case. Right before placing the bottles in the case, an integrated Cognex high resolution smart camera will read all of the bottom codes of the bottle bundle as they are being packed into the case by the robot.
The Xyntek-Antares Tracking System software will confirm the unique serial numbers based on the pack pattern and print a case label to complete the bottle to case aggregation. The robot EOAT then pushes the loaded case onto an exit conveyor; the case may be sealed manually, or secondary closing systems can be integrated. The system will handle up to 5 cases/min, providing an automated alternative to manual case-packing processes. The custom-designed EOAT can be configured to handle a variety of products. The system is also suited for integration with track-and-trace applications.

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