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Keywords of this article:  packaging 
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blow molding 
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Proco Machinery, a Canada-based manufacturer of automation systems for the blow molding industry, has launched a breakthrough collaborative robotic Half-Cube Palletizer system that automatically palletizes blow molded containers with minimal operator involvement.

Proco's Half-Cube Palletizer is an advanced automation robotic system that is ideally suited for palletizing containers at a 50% cost reduction compared to conventional automation solutions.

"Proco's new Half-Cube Palletizer automation technology was developed in response to customer demand," said John McCormick, President of Proco Machinery. "Our new system has taken collaborative robotics to a new level, and fills an important need for packaging manufacturers."

"The Half-Cube Palletizer can be easily and quickly adapted to a variety of packaging and repetitive manufacturing situations working alongside existing workers or working independently," said Siva Krish, Vice President of Sales for Proco Machinery.

The Half-Cube Palletizer system is an integrated packaging module and is supplied with a six-axis collaborative robotic arm, infeed conveyor, pallet lift magazine and Slip sheet/Tray pick and place magazine on a common sub-frame which in turn is fitted with leveling pads and castor wheels. The system has a maximum height of 55" which is the half-cube configuration that is common to most US blow molding operations.

The only manual operation occurs when an operator places the trays in the magazine. When palletizing is complete, an alarm sounds and the operator pulls the pallet out and places another pallet in the magazine. The Half-Cube Palletizer handles both slip sheet and tray configurations in 44x56 and 40x48 sizes.

The system can be moved into position, set up, and quickly put in production, according to the company. The Half-Cube Palletizer provides high flexibility and efficiency and can be configured to pack all necks up or all necks down.

In situations where a standard configuration does not suit a particular application, Proco can develop a custom designed system to provide an efficient, cost-effective solution.

The Half-Cube Palletizer is designed for easy portability. The complete system including integral in-feed conveyor can be easily moved from one location to another. It does not require highly skilled workers or engineers to teach it new tasks. The Half-Cube Palletizer system is designed so that the maintenance staff with minimum initial training can operate and do changeovers easily.

Due to the sophisticated design of the Half-Cube system, complex safety guards are not normally required. However, Proco offers guard packages as optional equipment. It can work alongside existing workers thereby making integration into the existing workplace environment easy and cost effective.

Proco said it has already sold the Half-Cube Palletizer systems to US custom blow molders of PET containers.

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