JLS recently debuted its hygienic Harrier Bacon Draft Loading System.

The Harrier is a revolutionary bacon draft loading system and automatically loads fresh sliced retail bacon drafts into thermoformers. This new highly-automated system replaces the typical complex series of conveyors and devices that are often used for this process while helping solve labor gaps. A patent-pending robotic gripper end-of-arm tool prefolds a flat bacon L-board flap utilizing a combination of linear servo actuators. The folded draft is then rotated 180 degrees and articulated down into the thermoformer pocket. Drafts can also be loaded onto a pattern loading board of a thermoformer designed for fresh retail bacon packaging. The system also has a surge capacity of 20 percent.

Additionally, the vision-guided robot’s targeting system will accommodate a wide range of draft position variance on the infeed conveyor while also providing a degree of draft quality inspection. As with all JLS robotic packaging systems, the Harrier has an open design which contributes to its sanitary design and washdown capability. It also provides easy access for operator loading of “Make Weight” and “B-Grade” drafts, further optimizing the system and increasing productivity. 

Designed for the most stringent applications, the Harrier features hygienic, IP69K-rated delta robots. The stainless steel robot sits in an open channel chassis and features tool-less disassembly of all tooling and conveyors for easy cleaning and sanitation.

Integration with other equipment upstream, such as a slicer, and downstream, such as a robotic case packer, is possible with the Harrier. This provides bacon producers with the flexibility to configure their lines based on their individual needs.

“Simply put, the Harrier automatic bacon draft loading system is a game changer for bacon producers,” said Ken Harding, Director of Applications Engineering and Special Projects at JLS, who is an expert in thermoforming with over 25 years of experience in packaging and food processing. “It saves them valuable floor space, solves labor issues, and increases overall productivity on bacon production lines.”

Source: JLS Automation