Singapore-based Clearpack is a leading packaging automation solutions provider with customers in Southeast Asia, China, India, Middle East and Africa. Upon discovering cobot manufacturer Universal Robots+ (UR+), a global product platform featuring third party certified plug and play solutions for Universal Robots (UR) cobots, Clearpack was quickly able to design a safe, compact and easy-to-use palletizing solution comprising a UR10 cobot and the LIFTKIT by SKF Motion Technologies, a global supplier of linear motion components. This has helped numerous Clearpack customers in the FMCG sector to optimize their warehouse space and enjoy a fast return on investment (ROI) on their investment.
Manufacturers often do not consider the space required for auto palletizing, an automated process of stacking cases of products onto a pallet, when planning the production floor layout. This presents them with a space challenge. Committed to developing smart and innovative solutions, Clearpack set its sights on designing an efficient palletizing system for its customers, one that is safe, compact, flexible and easy-to-use, while enabling businesses to utilize their warehouse storage space to the maximum.
Clearpack were already familiar with Universal Robots (UR), having used UR cobots in the past to develop a case erecting and packing solution for its customers. The partnership proved a success, leading the team to UR again to design a palletizing solution, this time with the help of the UR+ ecosystem and SKF Motions Technologies’ LIFTKIT.
One of Clearpack’s main considerations for choosing UR was its open platform, which meant the end user had the flexibility to program the application themselves.
Clearpack had to ensure that the solution was easy to implement so that its customers in the FMCG sector could quickly adapt to it. UR’s user friendly human machine interface facilitated this and the cobot’s collaborative nature allowed it to work in coordination with people.
For Clearpack risk assessment is an integral part of any project feasibility study as they work with many leading multinational companies that have high safety standards. With the right application and a proper design of accessories, the team was able to put together a system without the need of a safety guard. Safety guards are typically required when deploying bulky traditional industrial robots, resulting in additional costs for the installation and factory layout changes.
“Most of our customers, while building their manufacturing facility, will not have considered space for auto palletization. UR’s compact foot print and ease-of-use has made auto palletization feasible. The cobot also enables a more ergonomic and safe way for handling repetitive tasks such as palletizing."
Vishnu Puranik, General Manager, Clearpack.
When it comes to cobots, our choice is very clear, the best solution in the market is Universal Robots. UR, the market leader in this segment, provides uncompromised flexibility with a very good cost to quality ratio. The cobot integrates easily into the production line with minimum accessories. Its lightweight nature also enables it to be transferred from one production line to the other with just castor wheels. These factors help recover the investment spend faster.
Happy with their cobot choice, the team then looked for the ideal accessory to enhance the palletizing solution and enable the cobot to increase its stacking height, optimizing storage space in the production facility.
Browsing through the UR+ online showroom lead the team to discover the LIFTKIT, a robotic accessory that can be attached to the base of a cobot, enabling it to be lifted vertically by up to 900mm with compact retracted height. The team wasted no time to get in touch with SKF Motion Technologies to make an order.
“We were pleased to hear from Clearpack who were interested to integrate the LIFTKIT and the UR10 for a palletising solution. The LIFTKIT complements the UR cobot very well, by adding an additional linear axis to extend its range. A UR system is an investment for the customer, and the LIFTKIT is an accessory that can help maximize this investment in terms of productivity and return on investment.
“The UR+ platform offers a fantastic opportunity to showcase our products for this booming market of cobots. It is a very targeted way to promote our products specifically designed for Universal Robots. The response has been overwhelming since joining UR+. We have never had such an immediate impact and market response with a new product launch,” said Thomas Lotz, Business Support Manager, SKF Motion Technologies.
“Since the LIFTKIT was designed based on UR requirements, it was pretty easy for us to integrate and put the whole system together, taking not more than a day. We looked at different options but with the LIFTKIT we were able to get the required stack heights with the linear speed that we wanted. So, it was an easy decision for us. SKF Motion Technologies is also a trusted name in the market that gave us the assurance to go ahead with the LIFTKIT,” added Vishnu.
UR, through its cobots, and the UR+ platform in collaboration with the LIFTKIT, offered Clearpack an excellent solution to meet its customers’ needs. This has led to an increase in orders for the palletizing solution.
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