Project Information

An automated food packaging solution
Food Manufacturing
CME designed a system specifically for orientating and placing meat products such as chicken portions, steaks and burgers, into primary packaging.
Project Challenge:
The challenge was to design a fully automated system that could automatically orientate and place food products ready for packaging whilst meeting EHEDG standards.

Project Description

The latest Robotic Meat Processing Cell from CME Limited has been designed to ease the transition from traditional manual handling of meat products within primary processing and high care areas, to that of an automated solution. The HFPC120 system, designed and manufactured by CME in the UK, is one of the few on the market created specifically for orientating and placing meat products such as chicken portions, steaks and burgers, into primary packaging whilst achieving the highest hygiene standards, and enabling lower operating costs.

CME Limited’s Managing Director Paul Knight explains:” Following a combination of research and dialogue with UK food sector manufacturers to understand both the challenges and perceived barriers to automation, we have combined our innovative design expertise with the latest HE SCARA Robots from Stäubli, and other proprietary technologies, to produce the HFPC120, a fully automated cell using EHEDG guidelines to suit the specific requirements of the primary meat processing sector.”

Staübli’s HE robot range were the natural choice for this system, having been developed specifically for processes in hygienic, humid or harsh environments. With horizontal reach options covering 460mm, 620mm, 800mm and 1,000mm, these IP65 protection class robots are amongst the fastest in their class. CME specifically selected SCARA type robots for this system primarily due to the fact that their configuration means that, unlike Delta Type Robots, they are mounted to the side of the line and not permanently overhead. This significantly reduces the potential for dust or debris accumulating above the line and subsequently contaminating the product below.

The system has also been designed to facilitate complete washdown using industry approved chemicals, and all surfaces are angled or tapered to eliminate the potential for retention of water. Additional features of CME’s system include: integrated machine vision for product identification, the capacity to pick, orientate and place 60 items per robot per minute, grippers designed to suit the product and PLC control with an intuitive touch screen interface. In addition, a modular design approach allows the cell to be configured to meet the specific requirements of the customer in terms of throughput, physical footprint, and any product specific requirements.

This advanced system will provide manufacturers seeking to introduce automation within primary and high care areas a fast, flexible and cost effective solution, capable of delivering the highest levels of cleanliness and productivity, whilst securing confidence in the ability to meet future customer and consumer demands

The HFPC120 will typically be supplied as part of a complete turnkey solution from CME, which can include a wide range of additional equipment such as input conveyors, tray magazine or de-nester systems, together with downstream handling, wrapping and packaging technologies.

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