Hekuma GmbH has developed a special takeout robot for the production of petri dishes.
The automation works with cycle times down to four seconds, with very gentle handling of the petri dishes into the process flow. Another feature is a high degree of flexibility, to handle different product dimensions and packaging sizes.
The high-speed, lateral takeout robot can be designed for 12-by-12 cavity molds for the lid and dish.
Hekuma said careful handling is important, since petri dishes are made from brittle, easily breakable polystyrene. So the robot does not grip the covers and dishes mechanically, but instead picks up using fixtures that are tailor-made to their shape and kept in place by vacuum.
Changeovers are fast by using end-of-arm tooling with quick couples, as well as quick connectors for electrical and vacuum circuits.
Depending on the number of cavities, the new automation system guarantees the production of up to 7,200 sets of petri dishes per hour, including packaging.
Hekuma is based in Eching, Germany. It is represented in North American by Autotec Inc. of Sylvania, Ohio.
Tel. 419-885-2529, e-mail [email protected]