Cosmetics and medical drugs have become part of our daily lives, with everyone carrying little boxes in their pockets, purses, or bags. No doubt, the aesthetics of the products are provided by labeling and packaging systems, but the product is complete with the ingredients filled inside the box. Shubham Automation from Ahmedabad is a trusted name when it comes to vision inspection – checkweigher, track and trace, and print and apply solutions. Shubham Automation relies on cutting-edge automation solutions from Trio Motion Technology to deliver the needed accuracy and precision in highly integrated and complicated machinery.
A trusted name in the pharmaceutical, FMCG, food, beverage, and chemical industry, with its unique end-of-packaging line automation solutions Shubham Automation is expanding exponentially. “With over 20 years of experience, we combine technology with machines to provide our clients with the best possible solutions,” says Prashant Patel, managing director of Shubham Automation. “Our machines are robust, comply with cGMP standards, and are built with necessary security features. Our entire solutions portfolio is Industry 4.0 ready, differentiating us from our competition.”
Efficient in-feed and out-feed
India’s packaging and FMCG sectors rely heavily on manual labor, causing errors, losses, and delays in production and thus many processes still need to be automated. Filling machines are fed with empty boxes for filling, and the filled boxes are then manually closed and sealed. Thus the in-feed and out-feed are both manually handled.
Completely automating the start-of-line and end-of-line applications drastically reduces human intervention and increases productivity, efficiency, accuracy, and overall packaging throughput. “We provide solutions that offer the highest accuracy and lowest downtime and affordable that meet global standards,” asserts Patel. The user is able to accomplish 96 cycles a minute at the in-feed SCARA robot thanks to the automated in-feed and out-feed systems, boosting the filling throughput to an astounding 160 cycles a minute.
Effective pick and place
Empty cartons are loaded onto the conveyor and stacked in multiple layers in a matrix of either 6*5 or 5*3. The machine’s HMI makes it simple to choose either combination. Effective machine interlocks allow an operator to switch the picking grippers when switching between matrix options, thereby eliminating errors. The boxes reach the unloading station via a conveyor and an entire layer of the box matrix is picked up by a SCARA robot, which then places it on the conveyor to feed the filling machine. Each layer has a plastic film to protect the boxes which the same SCARA robot removes, and drops into a disposable bin. Thus, only boxes are loaded into the machine on the conveyor, and the separation film is discarded into the bin adjacent to the conveyor.
Integration on a single controller
A single controller controls the in-feed and out-feed systems. Typically, such a system would need to deploy three separate controllers, 3 HMIs, and a connectivity mechanism for synchronization and data exchange. “Shubham was able to offer a comprehensive, accurate, and precise solution using Trio Motion Technology while keeping costs to a minimum. In addition to managing the complete machine’s operation, our controller manages a SCARA robot at the in-feed area and a gantry system at the out-feed area. Shubham was able to significantly cut expenses and boost efficiency and productivity with such a flawlessly integrated design,” claims Jitendra Pandey, Application manager, Trio Motion Technology India.
PackML and IIoT ready with Trio
“With Trio, this machine is Industry 4.0 and IIoT ready, as well as PackML compatible as desired by major packaging end-users and factories,” cites Upendra Vanarase, managing director of Trio Motion Technology India. “With our controllers’ in-built IIoT capabilities, the OEM may connect Trio controllers to his cloud application via the open-source connectivity protocol OPC UA.”
OPC UA offers the necessary data exchange capabilities and includes the required security mechanisms. OPC UA can provide user authentication, access control, and certificate management, reducing cyber risk during data transfer. With Trio controls, the OEMs benefit from remote access enabling Trio controls to be monitored from anywhere across the globe.
Effortless, fast, and superior commissioning times
OEMs and automation vendors typically struggle to get machines up and running quickly. This has been one of the biggest problems for decades because commissioning times vary greatly and depend on many factors. “We identified this challenge early on and developed a master packaging application template as an umbrella template for the entire applications in the packaging industry,” explains Vanarase. “Our application engineers can program any packaging machine in 3 to 5 days using such a template,” he adds. The entire machine for the in-feed systems was commissioned in under three days. The OEM can significantly reduce the time to market and the commissioning timeframes, thanks to Trio.
One-stop solution for packaging OEMs – collaborative excellence
Trio has already made great leaps forward by creating bespoke packaging machine applications for OEMs. “With a variety of SCARA robots, we are building on the success of the Robot Programming System (RPS). SCARA robots boost productivity and efficiency in applications like pick and place, so our entire automation portfolio with a variety of high-performance integrated robots benefits OEMs who produce equipment for various industries.
“Faster development for the OEM is made possible by combining robot, motion, and machine automation into a single controller. In essence, it implies less downtime in the field for our customers, boosting productivity for machine users. Reducing development and maintenance challenges and using a single controller for all activities also means a lower cost machine,” concludes Vanarase.