Until now, companies from the liquid products industry (cosmetics, pharmacy, household) that wanted to introduce new products had to take into account considerable costs and a long implementation time. Traditional confectioning methods made it completely unprofitable to issue small print runs. Thanks to the new fully automated Cleanline line – based on the ACOPOStrak transport system from B&R – it is finally possible and extremely fast to implement. You can forget about long line retooling!
A large cosmetics company, a factory located in the suburbs of one of the European capitals, the phone rings at the production department:
– Hello? I’m calling from the marketing department, for the purposes of the promotional campaign we would like to order a small batch of shampoo.
– How big is the order?
– Really quite little. It is about 5 000 pieces. But we have a request for a few changes: can the shampoo be a different color? It’s great if it could be poured into other, non-standard bottles. And we would also like to change caps and labels … Could we have it for the beginning of next week? ”
In most companies, such expectations would seem simply ridiculous. Applying so many changes in such a short time, if the product is not ready on the warehouse shelf, is simply unprofitable. But not when you have at your disposal – the latest production line from Unilogo Robotics. Then it’s just a matter of a few clicks!
Unilogo Robotics – a pioneer and visionary in the packaging technology market
Unilogo Robotics is Polish company that designs and produces solutions for the cosmetics, chemical and pharmaceutical industries. The company specializes in the design and production of innovative systems for packaging liquid products.
Tomasz Nowacki, founder of Unilogo Robotics and co-founder of U2 Robotics Group, says about the genesis of the idea for the development of the optimization area in the machines designed by the company.
“We started with servicing large concerns that moved their factories to Poland. Over time, large retail chains also appeared, which began to release their own brands on the market. This changed the conditions: the market required the supply of machines adapted to various shapes of bottles, caps and labels. Then we set ourselves the goal of creating the most productive production line. ”
At the same time, the company set itself specific assumptions and goals for the productivity of its lines. The production series are getting shorter and require constant adjustment of the machine. Unilogo Robotics assumed that 12-15,000 products per shift will always leave the line, no matter how difficult the components (bottles, corks, labels) are used by the customer and no matter how many times the line needs to be changed.
E-commerce standards in B2B industry
The approach that is well known to all of us from the e-commerce sector has become a standard in individual customer service: speed and flexibility of service are features that are commonly required today. Does the same approach penetrate to B2B market? Most companies still have a traditional supply and production chain built on an antiquated sales model based on maintaining expensive product inventories. The modern world requires immediate response and flexibility. Unilogo Robotics is ready for such a revolution and is already gaining a competitive advantage by using the adaptive manufacturing process in their designs.
Production on Demand
An example of their production line that implements the concept of on-demand production is Cleanline. Thanks to the Cleanline line, companies from industries such as: cosmetics, cleaning and industrial chemicals or pharmacy are able to implement production on demand, which will give their companies new dynamics and allow them to gain new customers and make savings in the storage of products.
Cleanline is an integrated system of robotic modules in the form of a compact production line created in accordance with the concept of Industry 4.0. Fully automated, robotic production line for lotions, beauty cosmetics, perfumes, household chemicals, etc. with a few minutes changeover and start-up time. Thanks to 3D-printed format elements, the line works with any type of packaging and closures, and will also allow inserting of new packaging to the market within a few days.
The greatest advantage of the Cleanline line is its flexibility, which has modular design. The entire line works on the basis of blocks that can be easily put together and adapted to the needs of the company, as well as expanded with new modules. The Cleanline line includes, among others: a module responsible for sorting and screwing – with format elements made in 3D printing technology, a dosing module, a labeling module, a module responsible for packing into cartons and placing them on pallets. Some of the modules are connected with the intelligent transport system ACOPOStrak made by B&R.
ACOPOStrak Smart Transport System
Undoubtedly the innovation that makes Cleanline line is so universal is a specially created smart transport system. The system is based on the use of magnetic trolleys moving on the track (magnetic track).
The shape of the trolleys allows – without the need to changeover the machine – to handle and transport any type of packaging. The heart of the system is the ACOPOStrak B&R technology: thanks to it, the entire line significantly reduces dimensions and it is extremely flexible and – which is especially important when we calculate capital expenditure – durable. The entire process takes place in an end-to-end system – without human resources.
The feature the Cleanline line is the fully robotic unpacking and packing module. A set of several robots is able to unpack pallets with packages on their own, subject them to the process of cleaning (blowing), marking (laser mark) and laying on the line (feeding). The last stage of packing the finished products is robotic similarly. Human work is only necessary to transport empty pallets and pick up filled pallets.
Module with caps using 3D printing technology
After 7 years of experience, Unilogo Robotics created the module which tighten the cap. The module is fully automatic. It uses format elements produced in 3D printing technology – thanks to which Cleanline remains a 100% universal machine. The system itself is efficient and dimensionally optimized – it takes only 2.1 m of line length.
Technology compliant with Industry 4.0 standards
The entire Cleanline line is in line with the assumptions of technology 4.0 and the “Internet of Things”. Among other things, this means that the machine is connected to an intelligently connected network. The control and monitoring of the entire process is very simple and can take place in real time.
Control panel, OPC UA and Pack ML – another saving of resources
Cleanline is controlled by a universal panel based on HTML5 technology. This solution provides the ability to change all process parameters from one place. What’s more – it is possible to expand the panel with the features necessary in the customer’s process, personalize it and adapt it to individual expectations, standards adopted in the factory or simply the habits of operators.
Another advantage is the use of OPC UA open communication technology. It gives the possibility of data control – also in real time, access to detailed reports, and even videos recording key stages of the process or emergency situations.
Data is available in the cloud, which maximizes the convenience of work, allowing you to control the entire process from anywhere. This solution also significantly improves the repair and maintenance of the line and shortens the response time of the Unilogo service in emergency situations.
For companies with more than one production device, a special advantage of the line is its compatibility with the PACK ML system, which saves time and makes work comfortable, as well as program standardization.