Revolutionizing picking and packing operations

The Pick 'n Pack concept offers the food industry the benefits of automation – cost reduction, greater hygiene and more efficient use of resources – combined with the unique ability to adapt to the product and batch size at hand. 

Adapting to customer demands

The project delivered several modules and technologies that could be applied in future food packaging lines. The focus of the project was aiming for more flexibility and short changeover times to change from one to another product within seconds without huge losses of packaging material and spillage of food. With these technologies it should be easier to adapt to customer demands.

Tomatoes, grapes, and chicken breasts

The project delivered several modules and technologies that could be applied in future food packaging lines. The focus of the project was aiming for more flexibility and short changeover times to change from one to another product within seconds without huge losses of packaging material and spillage of food. With these technologies it should be easier to adapt to customer demands. Secondly it should be possible to use the line for many different food products to adapt to a larger market, so that robotized lines become interesting for smaller and seasonal products. Target products in the project were vine shaped tomatoes, grapes and chicken breasts. Not the most easy product to handle with robots.

Multiple modules

PicknPack consists of several smart modules, each with its own important function. What truly crowns this master plan is the fact that the graphical user interface makes it possible to approach each separate module independently. The modules can be used in all sorts of different configurations, and adding a different module is easy to do, no matter which vendor or software language is used. The software is specifically designed to set up a collaborative line, ensuring that the different components - while each having a specific task - always act as one.


Bin picking module

This gripping device is similar to a human hand - able to gently pick up a wide variety of products, regardless of their shape or fragility. The bin picking module enables the production line to single out an individual product from a group and correctly orient it for packaging.


Flexible thermoformer module

It usually takes hours to replace a mould, while making a new package design can last as long as several weeks. The Flexible Thermoformer puts an end to these problems. By making use of a composition of blocks from which the mould is made, virtually any mould configuration may be assembled offline in a number of minutes 

Flexible Printing Module

Pick 'n Pack has introduced a system able to print the foil cover for all sizes of packaging and all sorts of products. This takes away the need for pre-printed foils, as well as eradicating downtime caused by having to change the foils.


Partners

Team

Erik Pekkeriet
Wageningen University & Research
Ruud Barth
Wageningen University & Research
Herman Bruyninckx
KU Leuven
Marc Mauermann
Fraunhofer
Zhipeng Wu
University of Manchester
Antonio Dobon Lopez
Itene
Wouter Saeys
KU Leuven
John Gray
The University of Manchester
Simon Lushey
Marks & Spencer
Jose Perez Larrazabal
Tecnalia
Søren Rahbek Østergaard
Danish Technological Institute
Richard van der Linde
Lacquey
Idoia Olabarrieta
AZTI

Project Coordinator

This project is funded by
Grant no. 311987

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