Packaging specialist Huhtamaki boosts output with small-footprint automation system

CBW Automation

Food and beverage packaging company Huhtamaki (New Vienna, OH) has deployed a new integrated automation system from CBW Automation (Fort Collins, CO) for the production of Chinet plates. The enhanced system from CBW delivers improvements in output, speed and flexibility for the production of seven-inch polystyrene (PS) dinner plates at Huhtamaki’s New Vienna manufacturing facility.

Upon purchasing a large-cavitation stack mold, Huhtamaki opted for a sophisticated automation system that includes CBW’s new B2X side-entry robot. The system has a smaller footprint than the previous high-speed retrieval system while improving performance.

“CBW’s new design enables us to maintain the footprint in the production line yet gain 50% more output without losing efficiencies,” said Michael Drake, Senior Process Engineer for Huhtamaki. “It also gives us more flexibility for future changes in the manufacturing line.” CBW has been a long-time supplier to Huhtamaki, providing the company with robotics and automation systems since the late 1970s.

The integrated automation system consists of custom conveying, which connects the shrink wrapper, heat tunnel, label applicator and accumulation table, where 8-, 10-, 12-, 25- and 32-count plate stacks are parked for manual packing. A key feature is the availability of a primary and secondary shrink wrap and label applicator system, which keeps the line running in case of interruptions such as roll changes. In the past, with just one downstream line, the production line was forced to shut down.

CBW Automation operates under the umbrella of the Switzerland-based Mold & Robotics Group, along with Dollins Tool (Independence, MO) and Swiss company H. Müeller-Fabrique de Moules SA. CBW pioneered the design and construction of high-speed, side-entry and top-entry robotic systems to achieve the fastest possible cycle times in the high-volume production of thin-wall molded parts.

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