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Safety First: Specialized Stäubli Robots Shine in Hygienic Food Production

POSTED 10/07/2021

Duncan, South Carolina — Strict hygienic conditions, safety and precision are all essential to food processing. At PROCESS EXPO 2021, November 2-5 at Chicago’s McCormick Place, Stäubli Robotics will show at Booth 19039 how these requirements are easily met with state-of-the-art robots designed to conquer some of the food industry’s toughest challenges.

Stäubli is a global leader in industrial process automation, and a pioneer in this space. Its HE (Humid Environment) series robotic arms, designed for use in hygienic, harsh and humid environments, set the standard in food industry automation. Their retention-free, fully encapsulated detergent- and corrosion-resistant design makes them ideal for applications in primary environments, such as handling, cutting and trimming, where food safety is crucial.

PROCESS EXPO is the country’s biggest food processing and packaging industry trade show, and live production lines are always a highlight of the event. This year, Stäubli will present two demonstrations of production lines for processing and packaging meat, showcasing the capabilities of its specialized TS2-60 HE and larger TX2-90 HE six-axis robots.

The TS2-60 HE will run through a chicken breast handling and thermoform loading operation. This is notable for its precision and speed: The robot deftly picks the product up from a conveyor running at high speed, and then places it into its packaging. Product sterility is assured by the robot’s unique hygienic design, and integration is made easy by Stäubli’s VALtrack software solutions for quick, efficient pick and place applications.

The TX2-90 HE will demonstrate several applications displaying its flexibility in handling different protein products and conducting wash-down procedures. The robot starts by cleaning its tooling. It then moves to a chicken breast, picks up its cutting tool, and simulates waterjet cutting of the chicken. Rotating to a third station, the robot picks up a meat patty using a vacuum tool, places it onto a conveyor, and performs a meat washing application. After each cycle, the robot returns to the self-cleaning station, where it cleans the tool using a bath.

All robots in Stäubli’s HE line are designed specifically for use in wet environments and full wash-down applications, featuring:

  • Fully enclosed and pressurized structure to prevent microorganism penetration and avoid condensation
  • Hygienic design with smooth, rounded and tilted surfaces to eliminate liquid retention
  • Fully compatible with NSF H1 food-grade lubricant without loss of performance
  • Protected against pressure jets of water (IP65) and immersion (IP67)
  • Crucial components in stainless steel with special coating to withstand extreme conditions
  • No external cables - all connections routed through the arm and base
  • Unique, cylindrical envelope and small footprint
  • Patented Stäubli proprietary JCS gearbox for top-of-the-line accuracy, repeatability and durability

Stäubli is a leader in food industry solutions with a wide range of robots for pick and place, cutting, deboning, portioning, handling of boxes or frozen foods, and handling of unwrapped food products. The HE series of robots ranges in size and format (4- and 6-axis), and in payload from 1Kg to 150Kg. All have the flexibility of multiple mounting options, allowing easy integration into production lines.

About Stäubli North America

Stäubli North America has more than 200 employees supporting Connectors, Robotics and Textiles customers. The company’s North American headquarters is in Duncan, South Carolina. Stäubli provides customer support through its locations in Duncan, Queretaro, Mexico, and the newest Stäubli North American facility, which opened in 2018 in Novi, Michigan. In addition to 24/7 customer support, each of these facilities offers training and has dedicated on-site technical experts who can be deployed whenever needed. Stäubli’s North American sales force is located strategically on the West and East coasts, and also serves Canada and Puerto Rico.

Worldwide, Stäubli is a leading manufacturer of quick release couplings, robotics systems and textile machinery. With a workforce of more than 5,500 employees, Stäubli is present in 29 countries supported by a comprehensive distribution network in 50 countries worldwide.

About Stäubli Robotics

Stäubli Robotics is a leading player in robotics around the world, consistently delivering engineering as effective and reliable as our service and support. Stäubli offers a complete range of 4-axis and 6-axis robotic systems, collaborative and mobile robotics as well as software to meet the most exacting demands of the market internationally. Stäubli robots combine speed, performance and safety. staubli.com/robotics