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The Business Magazine November 2023
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CKF supply robotic case packing system to a leading third party logistics company

21 February 2023
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Gloucester-based CKF has  designed, installed and commissioned a new robotic case packing system for an international third party logistics company. Situated within one of their many UK facilities, the new system is the latest robotic automated installation to be successfully completed on this site.

CKF is a leader in automated robotic solutions with more than 30 years’ experience supporting different industries. This is the latest robotic system to have been delivered and commissioned by the experienced engineering team at CKF, aiding the clients drive for the improvement and automation of operations within its packing and distribution facility.

The branded pet food products within shelf-ready cardboard cartons are delivered to the automated cell on CKF modular belt conveyors, the system being designed to handle a number of product formats to meet the customer specification. An automatically formatted collation of cartons is presented to the robot at the pick area, ready for placing into an outer case.  Outer cases are delivered from a case erector, pre-conditioned and tracked in the robot place zone via variable speed twin side drive belts, providing positional accuracy for the robot placement.

 An ABB IRB2600 robot with custom vacuum tooling has been used to pick and place the cartons into the cardboard outer cases. The CKF team opted to use positional tracking to enable the case throughput to meet the clients’ specification. The robot cell has been designed to handle 25 cartons per minute.

The system is driven via the ABB IRC5 Controller, with the controller housed adjacent to the robot system. The robot cell is configured to fit within a designated area within the clients’ facility and is protected with a safety enclosure using a TROAX safety guard system. Operator access into the robot cell is gained through a Fortress interlocked, access door.

Installed and commissioned by the CKF engineering team, with minimal disruption to the customers operation, the automated case packing system has been delivered to meet the clients’ specification and performance. It has provided the client with the opportunity to re-allocate staff from what has been a repetitive task and enabled improved operational efficiency.

Nicky Godding is editor of The Business Magazine. Before her journalism career, she worked mainly in public relations moving into writing when she was invited to launch Retail Watch, a publication covering retail and real estate across Europe.

After some years of constant travelling, she tucked away her passport and concentrated on business writing, co-founding a successful regional business magazine. She has interviewed some of the UK’s most successful entrepreneurs who have built multi-million-pound businesses and reported on many science and technology firsts.

She reports on the region’s thriving business economy from start-ups, family businesses and multi-million-pound corporations, to the professionals that support their growth and the institutions that educate the next generation of business leaders.

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