OMRON halves cost to cobot palletise solving food industry’s workforce challenges

Responding to food producers’ end-of-line labour challenges including staff shortages, social distancing measures and self-isolation, OMRON UK will debut its game changing cobot palletiser, the RB1200, at PPMA Show 2021. Thanks to OMRON’s renowned iAutomation proprietary technology, the cobot system boasts a 50% cost saving, rapid delivery within weeks and plug-and-play system architecture to help food producers of all budgets and sizes immediately de-risk their line against today’s unprecedented labour challenges.

The introduction of the RB1200 could not be timelier. Food businesses are navigating social distancing guidelines amid high vacancy rates compounded by Brexit and the long-term skills shortage, putting pressure on existing staff and affecting productivity – according to a report from the Association of Labour Providers, 78% of food and drink firms surveyed did not expect to have sufficient workers in 2021. Adding to this anxiety is the risk of production being halted entirely due to an on-site Covid outbreak or high numbers of staff self-isolating; events which are outside of a company’s control.

The RB1200 was developed in partnership with OMRON’s automation partner Reeco. Together, the two companies have designed a cobot palletiser that makes food producers more resilient to the detrimental effects of both labour shortages and the possibility of immediate workforce interruptions. Using OMRON’s 3i concept of intelligent, integrated and interactive engineering methods has dramatically shortened system design and delivery time resulting in a 50% cost reduction compared to same spec cobot palletisers.

A modular, plug-and-play solution, the RB1200 has a maximum payload of 10kg and a cycle time of 12 picks per minute. It requires no system integration and boasts a 60% smaller footprint than conventional robot palletisers. Its inherent flexibility also means it can easily switch between lines and handle rapid changes in demand, maximising users’ investment.

In addition to its automated palletising solution, OMRON will also showcase the Quattro; the world’s fastest and most flexible Delta pick-and-place robot. With a pick rate of 300 per minute and the only Delta robot to be USDA-certified, the Quattro’s fourth arm allows it to reach up to 30% further than traditional designs, facilitating a larger operational area. The powerful combination of speed, manipulation, reach and a 15kg payload make it ideal for any food packaging application.

For a full demonstration of the RB1200 cobot palletiser or the Quattro pick-and-place robot, visit stand D50 at PPMA Show 2021.

 

Innovations in Food (& Beverage) Processing & Packaging is a quarterly magazine distributed globally both in Print and Digital formats. www.innovationsfood.com.  Twitter: @Innovfoodtech.  Instagram: @innovationsinfoodtechnology.  Linkedin: www.linkedin.com/in/terry-prior52