29 Mar. 2021

Food & Beverage


This assignment consists of developing two, almost identical, robot installations that stack fried taco tubs on a cardboard tray and transport them to the packaging unit. It is imperative that all fried tubs undergo a quality inspection. Only approved tubs may be packed. In addition, the customer also wishes to be able to use different stacking patterns in the future.

PL 2_2
Project design

Taking into account the existing process machines, to which these installations connect, we opt for a domed frame in which we attach the robots and cameras. One of the installations does not yet need some functionalities, such as a cardboard layer. However, we provide the space to implement this at a later stage, with a minimum of mechanical adjustments.


A vision system, at the start of the installation, is responsible for the quality control and location determination of each tub. The information obtained, is translated via a specially developed interface into a code that enables the two pick & place robots to pick up approved tubs at the correct location. The robots are equipped with conveyor tracking that can follow the tubs perfectly on the moving belt. In addition, the robots also contain a multimove function. Both robots know from each other exactly what they are doing and thus stay out of each other’s way. The tools with which the robots pick up the tubs are developed and 3D printed by Devion itself.

One of the installations is equipped with a cardboard layer. It consists of a separate, exchangeable buffer cartridge and a robot applicator with vacuum gripper. Operators can refill the buffer cartridge with cardboard trays without compromising the continuity of the installation. The cartridge is easy to disassemble and exchange, so that other types of pads can be used in the future as well. The robot applicator places the tray on a conveyor that runs parallel to the supply belt of the tubs. Via conveyor tracking, the robot knows where to place the pads. This belt adjusts its speed according to the space requirements of the flex pickers. This way, we always form full stacks. We provide vacuum detection to detect loss of cardboard.


Two state-of-the-art installations, with the most recent technologies, a capacity between 170 and 200 picks per minute and the necessary flexibility to process new types of tubs and trays in the future.

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