Wageningen UR has started to integrate the various modules into a flexible food packaging line. This is all within FP7 EU project PicknPack (www.picknpack.eu). The aim of the project is to pack single different foods in one packaging line. Vine shaped tomatoes, ready meals and grapes are products that will be packed with the line.
The Pick Pack Line successively consists of a thermo-former capable of forming plastic trays in a flexible way in a variety of sizes. Then a robot will pick out of the harvest container products and place them in the trays. The food is quality controlled with X-ray, spectral cameras, 3D sensors and microwave sensors to determine all quality features. When the products are looking good in the trays, the top-seal will be applied. The top-seal is locally decorative printed with the printer, and sealed with a laser. The same laser cuts the trays from one another. Depending on the quality of the packages, a cable robot with a flexible working area can stack the trays in crates.
It is expected that the line operates at the end of the year 2015. From that moment it takes a few months after the flexibility is expanded. March/April 2016 the line will be demonstrated to the public.
Financial support research: Europese Unie (Gr.no 311987) with co-financing of Ministerie van Economische Zaken.