HighTech Finland › New Materials & Processes › All articles in this section   ›  Pack it fast, pack it efficiently, pack it safely!

Forest Industry Applications
Manufacturing & Systems
Materials
Measurement & Testing
Transport & Logistics
All articles in this section

 

Pack it fast, pack it efficiently, pack it safely!

Orfer’s expertise enables the company to take on some tough challenges, all the way up to complete plant automation systems – seamlessly linking individual packing and palletising cells and manual work areas with automated conveyer systems to deliver uninterrupted, efficient production flows.

Orfer is a pioneer in the robotics field in Finland, and is the market leader in supplying packing and palletising systems to the country’s food industry. Systems are typically supplied as turnkey deliveries, including robots, grippers, conveyers, ancillary equipment, user interface, control system, and operator training.

To date, the family-owned company has supplied hundreds of such systems, normally based around Kawasaki and Toshiba robots, and built up a solid body of expertise. Growth has been particularly strong over the last three years.

Orfer supplied its first robotic packing system back in the early 1990s, to a bakery, and the original system continues to perform at high capacity utilisation levels to this day. In addition to baked goods, Orfer systems currently handle everything from saucepans, sausages, magazines, and paint to yogurt and milk cartons, bags, racks, and boxes – all at ever-higher speeds and levels of efficiency. Thanks to these benefits, an Orfer system makes good business sense in plants with even relatively small production volumes.

Orfer is particularly strong in gripper technology and software design, both of which play a central role in delivering high throughput speeds, precise handling, reliability, and ease of use.

Orfer develops, engineers, and manufactures customised robotised material handling systems.

Orfer has worked closely with robot manufacturers for a number of years to develop its systems, and uses advanced 3D modelling and simulation software, all of which has enabled the company to push the robotic system envelope in a number of areas.

Comprehensive solutions

Orfer’s BoxCell machine vision-based packing cells are a good example of what the company’s products can offer in terms of fast and precise packing – handling from 40 to 200 products a minute, depending on configuration. Specially designed for the needs of the food processing industry, a BoxCell solution can handle any product weighing less than 10 kg, and can be upsized to multiple robot installations to meet expansion needs. ?

A BoxCell vision system can also be used for quality control purposes, adding a further dimension.

Palletising needs are handled by the Orfer PalletCell, which offers fast installation and start-up, and easy and flexible operations. Integrated safety equipment is a typical Orfer feature. The PalletCell is capable of handling cartons, trays, wrap-around boxes, and crates with a maximum weight of 25 kg, and standard pallets; and options include additional vacuum plates, a mechanical gripper, and more palletising patterns.

In addition to these standard systems, Orfer’s main products focus on customised solutions, such as the V-1000 packing and palletising cell for dairy industry cup products – which offers state-of-the-art throughput with guaranteed safe handling and fast switching between products.

> Jukka Kettunen
(Published in HighTech Finland 2008)