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Robotic egg picker speeds up packing lines

By George Reynolds , 05-Feb-2007

A new robotic egg picker and sorter can reduce labour costs by about 83 per cent and improves packing quality, claims its manufacturer.

As global competition and labour costs increase, companies are looking at robotics as a means of speeding up lines, increasing production efficiency and reducing labour requirements.

Smart Motion said its SmartPacker comes fully assembled and the modular system can be connected to industry standard Moba and Diamond systems within minutes allowing production to start immediately, the company claims.

The SmartPacker, unveiled at this year's Poultry Expo in Atlanta, has a FANUC robot as its centre, operated through a system that can be accessed through the plant's internal local area network (LAN).

Ed Buckley, Smart Motion Robotics' vice president of sales and marketing said robotic automation is helping to transform the egg industry for the first time.

"There have been attempts to automate this process in the past, but our robotic system is successfully in production on multiple farms with amazing results," he said.

The system has a small footprint and can operate on two grader lanes simultaneously. It is designed to automatically react to line faults, such as a carton lid pop-open, the company claims.

The robotic arm is designed to place centre dividers into 24 and 30 dozen untaped cases and pack 15 dozen cases. The robot can handle 30 unit bulk trays and place foam and pulp cartons into shipping cases automatically, reducing the need for manual port-cartoning checks, claims Smart Motion.

The SmartPicker can pack cartons into 15 dozen cases, and can handle 30 bulk trays as well.

Multiple systems can be operated by a single user feeding empty egg cases into several lanes for filling.

US-based Smart Motion Robotics is a manufacturer of robotic automation for case packing and palletizing solutions for worldwide poultry and feed industries.

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