Stäubli Robotics to offer flexibility for the food industry at Anuga FoodTec 2022

Stäubli Robotics to offer flexibility for the food industry at Anuga FoodTec 2022

A TX200L HE picks up a cheese wheel from a rack and transfers it to a conveyor belt for further processing. Photo: Allgäuer Emmentalerkäserei Leupolz

Stäubli Robotics will be demonstrating its expertise in robotic applications for the food industry at ANUGA FoodTec 2022 (Hall 7, Stand C-041), 26 – 29 April, Cologne, Germany. The manufacturing group will be showcasing an Industry 4.0-compatible range of hygienic four-axis and six-axis robots capable of operating with process reliability in environments that require the handling of unwrapped food.

There are few other industries in which the demands on automation are as rigorous as those in the food sector. The strict hygiene requirements and daily cleaning processes virtually rule out the use of standard robots here. Yet at the same time, robotics offers almost unlimited scope for making food processing ultra-flexible, reliable, environmentally friendly and effectively germ free.

Conscious of these criteria, Stäubli decided several years ago to address the special challenges of automating food processes by developing an assortment of cleanroom-compatible robots with a high degree of protection and near-watertight design to meet the industry-specific hygiene standards applicable to the handling of unwrapped foodstuffs.

The complete Stäubli range: Hygienic, reliable, sustainable

The TS2 SCARA series, together with the models in the TX2 six-axis series, exemplify the modern concept of hygienic design: compact, enclosed housing with internal media and supply lines, and no external cable harness liable to interrupt the contours, generate errors or cause unnecessary particle emissions. A fully encapsulated robot arm with IP65 protection, special non-protruding screws throughout, optional concealment of connections under the robot base, and the systematic elimination of dead spaces makes these robots ideal for deployment in the food industry.

HE versions lubricated with food-grade oil

In addition, all Stäubli robots are available with specialised NSF H1 class food-grade oil. All Stäubli robots with the H1 option deliver a level of performance equal to standard robots.  

To ensure that the robots can undergo the same Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Point (HACCP) cleaning procedures as the other system components, Stäubli developed the Humid Environment (HE) robot series, modified specifically to withstand exposure to spray and splashes. The use of materials such as plastic or carbon fibre is avoided, and the casing has a specially treated, corrosion-resistant surface. Parts subject to high stress are made of stainless steel. The surface coating has a high-grade particle-repellent finish. 

Stäubli HE robots have established themselves as the benchmark for environments in which unwrapped food is handled, according to the company. All four-axis and six-axis robots are now available in HE versions. These robots can even withstand frequent cleaning with aqueous media in the 2 – 12 pH range without sustaining damage. The complete Stäubli robot range thus meets the expectations of discerning users in the food industry all over the world. Whether for boning meat, cutting cheese, sorting chocolates or decorating baked goods, Stäubli believes its robots epitomise process reliability, productivity and eco-friendliness. 

Mobile robots and AGVs built to cleanroom specification

With its cleanroom-compatible automated guided vehicles (AGVs), Stäubli WFT has shown that the manufacturing group is also able to offer complete solutions, including the ultra-flexible linking of individual work stations. These AGVs have the capacity to revolutionize intralogistics in food production and make processes more autonomous, flexible and productive than ever before. Mobile robots and autonomous mini-stackers can also be readily integrated into digitally networked production environments. 

All Stäubli solutions are Industry 4.0 compatible and feature the full range of interfaces currently in use for digital connection to higher-level control systems.

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