Going mobile

Posted on 5 Nov 2014 by The Manufacturer

High speed palletising combined with versatility and easy transportation means the IRB 6640 and IRB 460 are ideal for RM Group’s mobile packaging vision.

Robots from ABB have helped systems integrator RM Group to turn an innovative idea for a mobile packaging system into a working reality. Housed in 45ft articulated trailers, RM Group’s LTF 800 Mobile Packaging System uses ABB’s IRB 6640 and IRB 460 robots as part of a system designed to provide customers with a versatile, efficient and easily transportable way of bagging products at source.

Essentially a full packaging factory enclosed in a regular truck trailer, the LTF 800 takes raw materials in one end, and pops them out the other, dosed, sealed, bagged and placed on a pallet, ready for delivery to the store, using ABB’s robots to do the heavy lifting at a speedy pace.

RM Group has validated the system to deliver 22 bags per minute. The system can handle any type of aggregate or pellet product, such as sand, gravel, seeds, animal feed, etc., and could be modified to handle things like potatoes and onions as well.

Specifically designed for applications involving high capacity production, the IRB 6640 has a payload of up to 235kg, enabling it to handle extremely heavy materials. With no tail swing, the IRB 6640 is ideal for restricted spaces such as small factory floors. Running the second generation of ABB’s TrueMove and QuickMove software, the robot offers greater movement accuracy, with less time needed for programming. New features including simplified fork lift pockets and more space in the robot foot help to simplify maintenance. Now 400kg lighter, the 6640 robot is also easier to install.

The world’s fastest palletiser, the compact four-axis IRB 460, is capable of up to 2,190 cycles per hour, making it ideal for any high-speed end-of-line palletising system.

As well as improved efficiency, the system also helps users to realise operational and environmental improvements. By eliminating transportation between product sources and packing location, the system not only helps to cut haulage expenses, but can also help to reduce CO2 emissions, with no need to ferry products to and from off-site bagging facilities.

Effectively a decentralised factory, the LTF800 can also help make businesses more adaptable to rapidly changing consumer demands. The trailer factory can simply be pulled up to a loading dock, plugged in and can immediately start producing finished bags of product without any waiting.

“The integration of ABB Robots allows for fast, automated palletising of the packaged products,” says Llewelyn Rees, managing director of RM Group. “The IRB 6640 robots have been a complete success for RM Group, coping with the high demands and withstanding 1,000s of miles of haulage and continual labour, whilst the IRB 460 helps to deliver fast packaging output speeds with combined precision in palletising. ABB are the first port of call for every project we undertake that involves robotic automation.”

For more information, email [email protected] or call 01908 350300 and reference ‘RM LTF800’.