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Automated Pallet Unwrapping: Safety and Loss Drive Unique End-Effector Robotic Solution

by Donna Wolfe | Feb 17, 2017

BW Container Systems was approached by one of the most well-known beverage producers in Taiwan. This client has been in operation since 1925. At the time they approached BW Container Systems, the client had a unique challenge. They were manually unbagging and unwrapping bagged and wrapped pallet loads of product. The fact that this client was receiving pallets that were bagged and wrapped presented a real challenge to the operation. This was a time consuming process and, at times, a dangerous one. They needed an unbagger/unwrapper solution that would handle both formats without damaging their product.

BW Container Systems has had many years of experience unbagging and unwrapping loads. In years past, a standard cutting blade would be used to cut through the thick bags, while a heat gun would be used to melt away the stretch wrap. However, this unique challenge issue called for a unique solution, since there was risk of product damage if the standard cutting blade were to cut one or multiple straps, or even a can itself.

Kevin Forsythe was the lead designer and Mechanical Engineer on this project. Kevin stated, “We first analyzed the risks associated with various cutting methods. In doing so, we looked at multiple solutions for our client. In the end, we came up with a ‘knife’ that utilized heat as the method for cutting both bags and stretch wrap. This knife design was essential because it allow our client to cut the bags and stretch wrap without cutting straps. This solution pleased our client and I’m very proud of the team for challenging ourselves to meet and exceed our client’s expectations.”