A Clean Solution for a Chocolate Factory


Application Summary
Application: Material Handling
Primary Packaging
Industry: Food
Products used: Adept Quattro s650HS USDA-Accepted Robot
Adept SmartController CX motion controller
ACE PackXpert packaging automation software
Customer: Korea-based Chocolate Manufacturer
Integrator: Han Shin Power Tech Co.
Company
A large Korean-based chocolate company specializes in making variety packs of chocolates in large volumes. The company strives to deliver high quality chocolates packed in specialized boxes in a variety of shapes and forms.
Han Shin Power Tech Co., one of the largest system integrators in Korea, was retained to help the chocolate company comply with HACCP (Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points) food safety regulation from KFDA (Korea Food & Drug Administration). Han Shin has a strong presence in Korea, China, Vietnam, Australia, US, and Canada.
Problem
Han Shin's customer had a manual workforce transfering chocolates from a high-speed conveyor to specialized boxes. Working alongside the high-speed conveyors created a high-stress work environment for their employees. Picking chocolates by hand had a 2% error rate and delivered a higher probability of damage due to human contact. The quality of packaging would slowly deteriorate as the end of shifts approached. The positive side of the manual workforce was the flexibility to handle different types of chocolates without additional effort.
Solution
Adept consulted with Han Shin, and designed a hygienic primary packaging solution using USDA-accepted robots. Han Shin built a compact system and simplified the design of the robotic system based on the customer's requirements. Multiple recipes were developed to handle product variations with only a few clicks on the operator interface. The system was designed, tested, and optimized within a few weeks, and customer had gone from a manual to a fully-automated process in only 3 months.


Adept & Han Shin solution consists of:
  • Adept Quattro s650HS USDA-accepted robot
  • Adept ACE software platform, which provided a single user-friendly interface to manage the entire line of robots, cameras, controllers, and tooling
  • AdeptSight vision guidance and inspection system
  • ACE PackXpert packaging automation software with conveyor-tracking capabilities
  • 6 kg payload capacity
  • Continuous rate of 80 ppm
  • A custom end-effector (built by Han Shin) for high speed picking
  • A compact and simple system only requiring a third of original workspace
Impact
Han Shin's customer moved from a conventional semi-hard automation with manual workforce to a completely automated robotic solution in 3 months, replacing the manual workforce from a mundane stressful job. The customer improved the footprint efficiency by 300% achieving their targeted throughput of 80 ppm with ease. Han Shin also deployed the system through a user-friendly interface so that the customers could pick any recipe in only a few clicks. Most importantly, they are now certified by KFDA as HACCP compliant, and can boast a clean hygienic plant environment.