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FEATURE Packagingy


Robots lift pastry sales


When Sfoglia Torino needed to speed up production on the line making its vol-au-vont cases, it began discussions with system integrator and automation expert Tiesse


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foglia Torino is an Italian manufacturer of pastries, well- known for the quality of its products, with its vol-au-vent cases


being especially popular, with millions being made at its plant.


Speeding up production When Sfoglia Torino identifi ed the need to speed up its production of vol-au-vent cases, it began discussions with system integrator and automation experts Tiesse, based in Visano, just south of Lake Garda. The bakery wanted a robotic solution to speed up the packaging of three diff erent sizes of vol-au-vents (38mm, 50mm and 60mm) direct from a conveyor into thermoformed blister packs. Noting that ‘Vol-au-vent’ translates to ‘Wind blown’ to describe the constitution of the pastry, an early challenge identifi ed was how to pick up (from the top) such a delicate product, and one which has so many variations in its fi nished shape - especially with such high volumes passing through at high speed every hour.


As the vol-au-vent cases leave the ovens,


they are transported on a wire mesh conveyor into a cooling chamber before going on to be packaged for dispatch. To assure accurate product positioning in preparation for the robotic lifting and packaging stages to follow, the Tiesse team fi rst needed to ensure that a recognition and alignment process was in place from


automationmagazine.co.uk


the point at which the products entered the ovens in the fi rst place. With this successfully addressed, the focus turned to the design of


the packaging procedures as the products emerged from the other end of the baking and cooling line.


Precise packaging The packaging station downstream of the cooling section is essentially a cabin housing the conveyor and four Kawasaki YF-03N Delta robots, each equipped with vacuum gripping devices that lift the individual vol-au-vent cases three at a time with precision and speed. A vision system provided by Tiesse partner TS Vision monitors the positioning for pickup and placement into the adjacent blister packs, and the complete system has proved to be a signifi cant enhancement to Sfoglia Torino’s productivity.


“The handling of foodstuff s has long been a key application area for Kawasaki robots, and working with delicate and irregular shaped items like these pastry cases is always challenging. But our long-standing partners at Tiesse have worked with us and designed a system for Sfoglia Torino that delivers exactly what they asked for: a substantial speeding up of the production process,” said Ian Hensman, UK Sales Manager for Kawasaki Robotics.


Above and left: Food packaging made easy with the right solution


CONTACT:


Kawasaki Robotics UK Tel: 01925 713000


Automation | July/August 2020 35


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