Automated Production Line
Our customer’s patented technology is to adhere a dry food/beverage on a substrate. Their first product is a functional beverage printed on a biodegradable cup. The application is a very efficient way to sell and ship products that previously contained liquid in a liquidless format. The liquid is added at the point of use, this reduces shipping costs and the impact on the environment by requiring less transportation effort to ship the same amount of products. The customer has been producing small batches of their products and selling direct to the consumer. They came to Optimation to ramp up production by having us design and build an Automated Production Line.
The Automated Production Line was developed in stages, each stage was handled through our phases and gate process to assure we were meeting the client’s expectations. The Automated Production Line consists of the main processing dial: where the cups are singulated, inspected, material printed, an audit/reject station; a stencil handling dial where the stencils used for printing the material in the proper pattern are positioned at the print station and indexed to be swapped out for clean stencils; a tray loading system where 16 cups are removed from the processing dial, reoriented, and placed to trays for packaging. The trays are singulated, loaded and restacked at 2 different stations where they are removed from the Automated Production Line on carts . The cups are handled in sets of 4 or 16 accommodate the aggressive cycle time.
The solution we provided will produce one of four different size cups (3, 9,12, 16 oz) at a rate of 50,000 cups per 8 hr shift. The Automated Production Line is easily configurable to run different products.
The software effort was extensive, there are 5 servo motors that must operate in harmony to assure the motion of the stencil, print head and cup all happen correctly. There is also fault recovery programmed into the Automated Production Line to allow an operator to reset the process and restart production with minimal effort.
The project was a success and we are looking forward to seeing the product in the market.
“Working with the Optimation team was truly a pleasure. From ideation to creation, they were as passionate about the project as we were. We spent a great deal of time challenging the Optimation team to help us achieve more and they never backed down. Their post-delivery support made all of the difference. They knew the pressure we were under to get the Automated Production Line operating at full capacity and never let us down. We are excited to have this machine on our floor and running it at full capacity without issue today.”