End of Line Solutions

Packaging Robot

End of Line Solutions are a key component of the product distribution chain and encompass all of the activities involved in taking the product from the Primary Package to the Freight Truck or Warehouse. How the product is to be sold and/or presented to the end customer will determine the packaging steps required for each product type. A typical End of Line Solution process may include conveying the primary product package, labeling it with a unique date code and/or product code, accumulating a pack pattern and loading these primary packages into a formed carton.  Loaded cartons might then be uniquely labeled again, further conveyed, accumulated into a pack pattern and then loaded into a formed case, tray or container. Lastly, the final package is conveyed to a station to be placed onto a pallet which may then be stretch wrapped, given a final unique unit load label and then transported or conveyed to either a warehouse or directly onto a freight truck.

 

The manufacturing process as well as any unique product characteristics may alter the typical End of Line Process. For example, product in its primary package may need to proceed in batches to a Freezer or Cooler for a specified amount of time before being packed into the final cartons and/or shipping containers. Or, product may only be able to be economically produced one flavor at a time and will proceed to a warehouse on a pallet prior to being de-palletized and then recombined into a rainbow pack of mixed flavors in a carton, tray, case or pallet.

 

We specialize in modular palletizing, modular case packing, and/or fully integrated end of line solutions and will work with you to develop a system that fits your manufacturing operation.

 

An important aspect when building a complete packaging system is the controls integration, and this is an area where we excel. We work with specific partners to ensure proper integration of all equipment throughout the packaging process. We can design and build your entire system and ensure you have fewer HMI control touch points, easy-to-use operator interface, and simplified maintenance and troubleshooting.

Assembly Systems

Integrated system
Automation floor

We build custom assembly equipment and complete assembly lines for a variety of manufacturers each year. Our projects range in the thousands over the past 15 years, and the product variety includes industries such as automotive components, food and beverage, pharmaceuticals, bottle and packaging manufacturers, cosmetics, aerospace, tooling manufacturers, copackers, and many others.

 

We have successfully completed projects as small as $100k and as large as $9MM. At APT, we manufacture 99.9% of the subcomponents in house, including mechanical design, electrical design, programming, welding, laser cutting, powder coating, machining, and assembly. We have complete control over your project from start to finish, which gives us a competitive advantage when it comes to workmanship, standardization, and timing. Many of our competitors focus in either mechanical or electrical design and outsource large portions of the engineering and manufacturing of the project. We believe one of our unique competitive advantages is the intricacy in which we can control the process and deliver a robust and proven reliable solution. 

 

Our control systems are far superior in that they are standardized and thought out over years of troubleshooting and testing. Many customers don’t give enough merit to the control system when purchasing equipment, but it is the touch point for each operator and maintenance technician for the life of the equipment. All of our equipment is designed and programmed to a standard, using simplified and easy-to-use PLC ladder logic, as well as HMI screen development. We believe we hold an advantage because our equipment is easy to interact with, troubleshoot, and maintain. We’re happy to explain our process in more detail or provide an overview. Compare us to the competition…we think you’ll be quite impressed!

Custom Single Stations

Stand Alone Machine

We were a machine builder for our first ten years in business before we ever integrated a robot, and this foundation continues year over year. We have many customers who rely on us for very specific machines that press, seal, assemble, screw, insert, index, rotate, inspect, or a combination of those functions.

 

It is our desire to build a relationship with you, our customer, and the easiest way to do that is to pick a small piece of your operation that can be automated, using a variety of robots or mechanical components, and implement this solution first. The savings here can be applied to larger, more complex areas.

 

Over the years we have literally built thousands of stand-alone single stations. Often times these machines are the fastest to integrate and can generate loads of ROI with minimal investment. Talk to our application engineering team today and let us learn about your operation – there are savings achievable in every manufacturing operation and we can help!

Machine Tending

Machine Tender
Machine Tender

Robotic machine load and unload is a complex application that APT can help you greatly reduce throughput in your operation. Each year, we handle several projects where we are tending a machine. Most common is a CNC machine but can be applied to various equipment.

 

It’s very important that your operation is set up for automation, and the most important piece of this is work holding. In order to have a successful robotic application, you must have standardized work holding and tooling. Typically, the robot will perform the mundane task of loading and unloading the machine only after everything else is standardized. We can assist with this process and have work holding partners to ensure a successful project. 

 

The best applications are higher production runs, although we continue to push the envelope with quick change in low volume environments. Our competitive advantage in this arena is that we are run a large machining operation and have knowledgeable process engineers, CNC programmers, work holding experience, and tooling experience that can assist with bringing a successful machine tending project together.

Our Standard Robotic Machine Tenders feature:

  • The tri-fold guarding can be attached to either side. Available area scanner option which does not require guarding.
  • Front or side loading for Mills or Lathes.
  • Preloaded with load and unload program templates for simple build with no complex programming.
  • Drawer load for blank parts is safe and can be configured for other parts in the future.
  • Robot mounted for human interaction
  • Utilize the on board I/O built into the Fanuc LR Mate for integration to the CNC machine.
  • 120 VAC power connection with optional air compressor.
  • Built-in Kennedy toolbox for additional machine tool storage.
  • We can also customize our machine tenders to fit your needs!

Machine Tending Case Study Download

Service & Support

Support and Service
Support on a Palletizer

It is our priority to build equipment for you that is easy to use and performs at industry leading uptime. This is why we are meticulous about the components we choose for your project, our workmanship in metalworking and assembly, ease of programming logic, standardized templates, and operator screens that are user-friendly.

 

That being said, we know that components will eventually fail and is why we are dedicated to supporting you throughout the life of the equipment. We have technicians available to answer questions, have access to industry leading FANUC and Rockwell spare parts programs, and can stock custom spare parts and wear items that you will need for your equipment.

 

APT is an authorized top level FANUC exclusive integrator that works directly with FANUC service and support for any down robot. The FANUC team will complete parts exchange 24/7 and we work alongside them to make sure you are back up and running.