Based in the Dutch city of Dordrecht, Valvoline has 85 employees and many years of experience in packaging large series of motor oil bottles produced in-house using a fully automated bottling system. Some time ago, the company discovered that it needed not only the large bottling system, but also an additional system for smaller batches, since converting the large system for packaging smaller series was far from cost-effective. Valvoline opted for YASKAWA’s MOTOMAN HP20F robot, which was developed specifically for packaging tasks, in combination with the FS100 robot controller. Overveld Packaging, based in Hoogerheide, assumed responsibility for the design, installation and servicing of the entire bottling system.
Kees Verbunt, project manager at Valvoline: “The new robot line for packaging bottles of Valvoline oil in boxes is actually specially designed for use in the mechanical bottling system for larger series. This means that the packaging speed of this new robot line doesn’t have to be that fast. For us, the important thing is having a packaging unit for smaller series to avoid unprofitable conversion costs”.
“Three years ago, Valvoline came up with the idea of purchasing a smaller bottling system with a maximum speed of 20 bottles per minute. The empty bottles would be placed on the belt manually and removed again manually once they were filled. However, in the course of the project, the capacity increased to 40 bottles per minute. Because manual loading and unloading is no longer possible at this speed, Valvoline needed further automation, so the company contacted us,” explains Ad Nieuwlaat, production manager at Overveld Packaging. Kees Verbunt adds: “We had already bought a box folder for Valvoline boxes from Overveld Packaging, so we were familiar with the excellent service this company provides. Valvoline is placing its trust in a MOTOMAN HP20F robot developed specifically for packaging tasks. In the bidding phase, we approached various providers in the field of automation, but eventually settled on a system from Overveld Packaging with a YASKAWA robot because of its excellent performance characteristics and competitive price”.
Since mid-2012, Overveld Packaging has been a system integrator for YASKAWA Benelux B.V. Ad Nieuwlaat continues: “For the bottling system, we chose the YASKAWA MOTOMAN HP20F robot with a live load of up to 20 kg including the head. The compact design and large range of more than 1.70 metres make this high-speed six-axis robot ideal for handling small to medium-sized items. The robot performs three tasks: it positions the box, fills the box – in this case, with bottles – and seals the top and bottom of the box. The robot is controlled by the latest YASKAWA FS100 controller generation that was developed specifically for picking and packing. The controller can easily process sensor signals in real time, respond to camera information and handle other high-speed applications. A PC or a PLC can also be used for programming and control purposes. The compact dimensions of the FS-100 controller make it ideal for compact installations, and it is often used for our bottling systems, for example. The packaging system we have supplied to Valvoline is actually a standard solution we use for a variety of applications. For example, we are currently building a similar application for packaging sacks of onions. We may not need the live load of 20 kg in this case, but we do need the large range.” Kees Verbunt also expressed his satisfaction with the bottling system: “The entire line built by Overveld Packaging is very well-organised, accessible at all points and has emergency stop mechanisms all over to switch off the entire system or parts of it. In addition, Overveld Packaging offers round-the-clock service that is a perfect fit for our production philosophy”.