Morray's EC-201 palletizing robot
At the heart of the new layout is one of Morray's EC-201 palletizing robots. Using the robot, Morray has been able to install two new lines in place of the original solo conveyor. The company has also re-arranged the remainder of the line to meet a number of new requirements while retaining the form/fill and seal units from the original system.
The new line has been installed at Cytec's Bradford factory, which produces chemicals for the water treatment industry. The free-flowing granular product is packed in 25 kg, 750 kg and one tonne bags for distribution across the UK and around the World.
Need to prevent moisture ingress
Packing standards for any chemical must obviously be high and while not hazardous, the factory's products must be packed with care to prevent moisture ingress and avoid subsequent handling damage.
For the 25 kg bag packing line, granules are conveyed to two bag form/fill/seal units which create the bags from a metallocene blend and deliver them to a belt conveyor. Originally there was just one conveyor, feeding a stripper plate type palletiser, sited before a pallet wrapping or hooder unit.
Although capacity was an issue, there were other aspects that needed to be improved. The old palletiser had a reasonable theoretical output but could only work on one line at a time. In practice this restricted output.
After a thorough selection process the company decided on Morray Engineering's robotic solution. Deciding factors included Morray's ability to fit their system into the existing building, which would have been very difficult to enlarge.
When agreement was reached on the final layout, work was arranged to minimize disruption to the relevant section of the factory.
Morray was given a small window of just 15 days to remove some of the existing plant, re-arrange other parts- such as the dust extraction system - install the two new conveyor lines, automatic pallet dispenser, shuttle car conveyor, EC-201 robot, guards, control systems and to commission the unit.
Two belt conveyors give greater flexibility
The existing bagging stations now feed two belt conveyors, giving greater flexibility in handling product from the factory. The robot is positioned between the lines, lifting bags and placing them in the required patterns onto pallets on either side. With a line output speed can cope with both conveyors at the same time, thus loading two pallets at once.