When it comes to cold cuts, sausage, ham and other processed meats, leading player Charkman holds a unique position in the Swedish market. The Charkman Group, which produces cooked meat products, is made up of 12 small- to mediumsized private companies that for over 30 years have cooperated closely with each other on most aspects of the food processing business.
The latest innovation introduced at the plant has dramatically increased output: a fully automatic slicing line that slices and packs high volumes of salami, ham, turkey, rolled pork and other cooked meats that require only a small team of operators. At the heart of the line is a new intelligent portion loading (IPL) robot and junior slicer from AEW Delford Systems, added to the already existing polyslicer plus slicing line.
The IPL robot is ABB’s IRB 340, FlexPicker, which is ideal for applications where objects need to be moved quickly and precisely. The robot is guided by a vision system, which locates the incoming products on a continuously moving conveyor belt. The robot’s outstanding feature is the speed at which it operates, handling up to 150 picks per minute. The IRB 340 wash-down stain less version is especially suited for use in hygienic production of open foods such as meat, dairy products and ready made meals.
To make it easy to install and operate the FlexPicker, ABB has developed a software product called PickMaster which includes a Cognex vision system. PickMaster is ABB’s PC based software tool that supports high speed picking applications with several robots and high product flows. Whether the products come in at random, on guided conveyors or placed on indexed carriers, PickMaster ensures highest precision.