Anuga FoodTec 2024: Stäubli Robotics to present state-of-the-art food industry robots

At Anuga FoodTec, Hall 7.1, Booth C049, Stäubli Robotics will showcase the breadth of its food-safe automation solutions, covering a range of industry segments and numerous applications in primary and secondary processing and packaging.

Stäubli’s hygienic food robots are designed to help ensure producers meet stricter safety requirements and quality standards while also optimizing their processes and boosting productivity.

At Anuga FoodTec, March 19 – 22, Stäubli Robotics’ food industry specialists will present a variety of live demonstrations and offer expertise on how food producers can update their production lines and be more competitive amidst labour shortages, logistical constraints, food safety issues, compliance challenges, and market pressures.

Stäubli’s food robots have a standard-setting hygienic design that minimises the risk of contamination and helps ensure safety and compliance in this highly regulated sector. They feature a fully encapsulated and pressurised IP65-rated structure (IP67-rated wrist) with a smooth surface, specialised coating, no external cables or connections, non-protruding screws, and no dead spaces where microorganisms can grow. All models are available with NSF H1 food-grade oil.

Equally important is the ability of the robot to undergo the same cleaning procedures as other system components with no loss of performance. This is why Stäubli developed its Humid Environment (HE) robots, which are modified to maintain process reliability in environments where exposure to spray and splashes is frequent and intensive daily cleaning is essential.

Stäubli HE robots have established themselves as the benchmark for safe food processing. The use of materials such as plastic or carbon fibre has been avoided, and parts that are subject to high stress are made of stainless steel. The casing has a specially treated, detergent- and corrosion-resistant surface with a high-grade particle-repellent finish. HE robots range in size, format (4- and 6-axis) and payload to meet different requirements. Flexible mounting options and personalized service enable easy integration into semi- and fully automated production lines.

Stäubli will present several live demonstrations at Anuga FoodTec showing how its hygienic food industry robots automate a variety of processing tasks requiring the safe handling of unwrapped foods including raw meat and baked goods.

One demo will feature a pair of Stäubli robots, the Red Dot Award-winning TS2-60 HE and a TX2-60 HE, using conveyor tracking technology to cut and handle chicken and beef. The TX2-60 HE uses a waterjet cutter from Swiss manufacturer Allfi to simulate cutting the meat into chicken thighs and steaks. The food is then transferred to the next station by conveyor belt. When it is recognised by a camera, the tracking application uses the TS2-60 HE to transport it into a packaging unit.

A bakery demo cell will feature another Red Dot Award winner, the TS2-80 HE SCARA robot, working with conveyor tracking and a SICK 3D camera. The TS2-80 HE will handle bagels in a high-speed tracking operation that highlights the robot’s precision as it delicately yet firmly picks up the bagels using a soft gripper from Soft Gripping and places them into an oven. Stäubli’s VALtrack software enables the robot to interpret visual data from the camera and determine how to handle different product types, allowing greater flexibility.

A third demo will show how Stäubli’s HE robots can maximise throughput while ensuring food safety with a realistic use case for food packaging. Two SCARA robots, a TS2-60 HE and TS2-80 HE, will carry out a multi-picking process in which the robots handle ham, picking at high speed and placing the unwrapped food into blister packs.

The show-stopping TX2-200 robot, newly modified for food production

In 2023 Stäubli unveiled its next-generation TX2-200 robot, a powerful, cleanroom-compatible six-axis machine representing the top of the TX2 series. At Anuga FoodTec, the food industry will be among the first to see the new HE version of the TX2-200, modified to master the most demanding tasks in food production.

The TX2-200 HE is the largest robot in the series with a load capacity of up to 170 kg and a reach of 2.209 mm, making it ideal for heavier handling applications.

Another special feature of the TX2-200 robot is its enhanced safety technology The TX2-200 offers a new level of safety, flexibility and user-friendliness, making integration even faster and easier.

“With the TX2-200, we have once again extended our technological lead over our competitors,” says Rudolf M. Weiss, global head life sciences & food: “Thanks to its advanced safety features, hygienic design and mechanical qualities, this six-axis robot is a highly versatile guarantor of productivity in both classic and digitally networked environments.”

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