New conveying systems for robotic pick-and place packaging introduced by Key TechnologyMarie Donlon | November 28, 2023
Key Technology, a manufacturer of automated food processing equipment, has introduced their new vibratory conveying systems designed to feed pick-and-place robots on packaging lines.
According to the company, each series of integrated conveyors meters, separates, singulates and aligns products, depending on the application, to offer the ideal product separation, speed and orientation for presentation to the robotic system for pick-up. By minimizing hand packing, these new systems reportedly help increase production efficiency, reduce labor and improve sanitation.
Key Technology designs, builds and then tests every integrated conveying system to identify the optimal speed, stroke, lane widths and step sizes to consistently present the processor’s products to the robot’s end of arm tooling. Suitable for primary or secondary packaging, these systems can handle frozen foods such as potato products, meat, poultry and seafood as well as dry products such as cookies, pet treats, confectionaries and snacks.
The integrated conveying system often begins with an optional shaker or belt conveyor to meter product, if needed. Then, a separating shaker evenly spreads product, followed by a singulating shaker that directs product into single-file lanes. The next shaker aligns the product in the correct direction, if required, and achieves the optimal speed to feed one or more pick-and-place robots, which are installed on one or both sides of the conveyor. Products that are not picked up by the robots can either be collected in a hopper or recirculated to the beginning of this system.
Key Technology’s vibratory conveyors are designed for sanitation with stainless-steel bed surfaces, open designs and oil-free drives. When a processor automates primary packaging, sanitation is further enhanced by eliminating the manual handling of unpackaged products in the packing process while reducing the chance of accidental foreign material contamination by a worker.