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Automatic handling of pasta packs with Piab's Kenos® KVGL

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Selematic handles pasta automatically with Piab's Kenos KVGL area gripper

With the use of a single Kenos® KVGL vacuum gripper by Piab, Selematic has created a state-of-the-art automatic packaging system, achieving a significant cost reduction and an important productivity increase when handling different formats and various layers of pasta.

On an automatic packing system for pasta packs in carton-boxes, Selematic SpA has installed a Kenos® KVGL vacuum gripper by Piab, that is operated by a cartesian robot, for the handling of various types of packs such as double-bottomed squared packs of short pasta, puffed packs of nest-shaped pasta. and pillow packs of long pasta.

The carton-box is filled from top with progressive overlapping of pasta pack layers. The process is characterized by a high number of formats and stratifications. The first requirement was therefore to minimize the substitution of the gripping systems consequent to format changes. Another problem were the frequent breakages, which occurred mainly with paper packs.

“Before starting the collaboration with Piab, the pasta packages were picked up by means of a blower using internally built gripping systems. When pack sizes and / or the stratification of the same inside the cartons changed, the grippers had to be replaced. All this involved costly downtimes and negatively impacted on cycle times" explains Alessandro Vitiello, Engineering Service Coordinator at Selematic, head of the project.

“Furthermore, pack breakages often occurred, especially with paper packs, in particular with certain types of pasta (such as penne). Thanks to Kenos® KVGL, we have solved both problems, managing to pick up any pasta format, even of different sizes, with a single gripping system - which length is equal to the mouth of the pallet box - without causing any damage to the packs. Obtaining a significant cost reduction and an important productivity increase. Before choosing Piab's Kenos® KVGL, we also tested other solutions. These worked pretty well, but they were definitely more expensive.

Piab also convinced us for the consulting services provided during project implementation. The technicians of the Italian branch, in collaboration with Tesfluid, Piab’s authorized distributor, assisted us in choosing the correct vacuum pump and in identifying the most suitable type of suction cups to couple with the Kenos® KVGL system".

Kenos® KVGL has been equipped with Piab's piGRIP® suction cups with BGI lips 34mm diameter.

Thanks to the adopted solutions, the maximum production capacity reached by the packing system is between 80 to 120 packs per minute depending on the respective product

Piab's Kenos® vacuum gripping systems are designed to simplify the handling processes of the food, packaging, wood industries and in many other application areas. It is a versatile range, designed for the manipulation of a wide variety of objects with different shapes, sizes and densities. Most of the gripping systems can be equipped with integrated vacuum generation or  are suitable for separated vacuum generation, by means of a pump or side channel blower  - as in the case of Selematic. Among the various Kenos® systems available, KVGL is the model that best suits the food industry, due to its versatility and the possibility to create special solutions based on specific application needs.

piGRIP® is an exclusive concept of configurable suction cup, with individually optimized parts, to facilitate gripping and handling of various types of objects or surfaces, ensuring quick and safe movements.

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