Case Study - Moulded-Fibre Carton Palletizing Robot System

The Customer:

One of North America's largest producers of moulded-fibre packaging in Brantford Ontario required a more efficient way to palletize and increase throughput. They package two(2) different sizes of cartons on three infeed lines with hundreds of possible graphic patterns on the product. The line requires accurate control and synchronization of infeed material, printed labels, and pallet loads. An AGV system ties into the cell control to maintain automated outflow to the warehouse.

Opus Automation studied their requirements and designed and manufactured a single robot 3-IN, 3-OUT cell utilizing an ABB irb6700-3.2 robot integrated with Allen-Bradley CompactLogix safety PLC.


  • Our main challenge in this cell is to handle (3 infeed lines) of stretch-wrapped bundles of stacked cartons which tends to be an relatively unstable package until it is stacked. Any failure to control the bundle's position in the load can lead to an unstable load. Full loads are double-stacked pallets.
  • Each bundle must be labelled with a print-and-apply label with traceability information. In all bundle positions, the label must be visible.


  • We analyzed the cell requirements and determined that one robot could keep all three lines running at the appropriate through-put. A traditional six-axis ABB irb6700-3.2 robot was selected to optimize reach and carrying flexibility with bundle and pallet loads.
  • Programming flexibility. Designing the End-Of-Arm tool with combined mechanical grippers to pick cartons and hardened steel pins to securely pick and place skids.
  • By utilizing low back-pressure on the infeed and dual bundle staging positions per lane, we could buffer incoming bundles and optimize the pick for each transfer to accurately build the load.
  • Pallets are fed into the cell in tall stacks on the dedicated CDLR infeed conveyor. A pallet de-stacker is used to singulate pallets for pickup by the robot. Pallets must be loaded at the start of the buiild and at the half-way point to create the full-height load.


  • Increased productivity and throughput moving from a manual operation to the robotic operation.
  • Reduced injuries due to palletizing issues, and eliminated repetitive strain problems affecting the operation.
  • Minimizing floor space needs.




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