Multivac and ESS Technologies Highlight Robotic Loading

By David Vaczek
Multivac integrates its R140 FFS unit with ESS Technologies’ TaskMate system using a FANUC LRMate mini robot.

For customers looking for higher production in a space-saving form-fill-seal (FFS) machine, Multivac recently demonstrated a fully automated tray packaging line. The line featured its R140 FSS unit integrated with the TaskMate system by ESS Technologies Inc. (Blacksburg, VA) using a FANUC LRMate mini robot.

TaskMate features a configurable tabletop platform and interlocked guarding with aluminum-frame and see-through construction. For completing the guard, TaskMate provides an optional, bidirectional, invisible light curtain that shuts the system down if personnel break the guard barriers. The stand-alone solution can be quickly integrated into process or packaging equipment for pick-and-place, load-and-unload, and product-orientation functions, says Walter Langosch, director of sales and marketing, ESS Technologies. ESS Technologies is a FANUC integrator and strategic partner.

“Manufacturers are trying to find ways to reduce production costs and provide a safer environment for employees. The TaskMate is a solution for freeing valuable employees from repetitive-motion tasks,” says Langosch.

Paired with a Multivac blister machine in another application, the TaskMate performs loading, unloading, orientation, and stacking tasks. “We take the finished product, five blisters at a time, invert them, stack them, and load them into an ESS-supplied cartoner, says Langosch says.

The LRMate handles multiple items per pick at up to 120 picks per minute. Repeatability of arm placement is 0.04 mm, with an end-of-arm capacity up to 11 lbs. Meantime between failures of the robot’s servos is 6¼ years.

Multivac featured the integrated system at the Medical Design & Manufacturing East and EastPack shows in New York June 6 to 8. Also on display was its R240 thermoform-fill-seal machine, the T350 automatic tray sealer with an advanced labeling system, and the recently announced C400 solid-seal-bar vacuum-chamber unit for medical applications.



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