United Automation Leverages Epson’s Printing and Robotic Technology to Provide Automated Color Labeling and Verification
Epson’s partner, United Automation, combines the ColorWorks on-demand label printer and industrial robot solutions to create efficient color labeling and verification.
Seiko Epson Corporation (Epson) is a global supplier of printing products and solutions, information, and imaging-related equipment. The Japanese electronics company has five key business areas: robotics solutions, visual communications, wearable products, microdevices, and printing solutions.
Epson announced that its industry partner, United Automation Labeling Solutions Inc., created automated labeling applicators incorporating Epson’s ColorWorks C7500 on-demand color label printer and the Epson 6-Axis VT, C-Series, and SCARA robot solutions.
Epson’s 6-Axis and SCARA Robots
The Epson 6-Axis robot product line comes in a variety of series with unique features. The Epson VT6L All-in-One 6-Axis Robot features:
- A servo power indicator lamp
- A built-in controller at the base of the arm
- A controller display of light-emitting diodes (LEDs) to indicate status and execution mode information
- A hollow end-of-arm design to simplify cabling and consequently minimize pulling
Like Epson’s other 6-Axis bots, the 6-Axis VT features a SlimLine design with a compact wrist pitch enabling access to hard-to-reach areas in confined spaces. View additional product highlights and features on their website.
The Epson VT6L All-in-One 6-Axis Robot. Image used courtesy of Epson.
The C-Series (including C4 and C8) of Epson’s 6-Axis bots are compact and provide customers with a longer reach. The C4-Series bots have a maximum payload of 4 kg and a horizontal reach range of 665 mm to 965 mm. Conversely, the C8-Series can achieve fast cycle times and payloads of 8 kg. The motion range across bots in this series is between 791 mm to 1,480 mm.
Epson’s SCARA robot product line includes over 300 models for users to choose from to suit their desired application requirements. Sizes range from 175 mm to 1,000 mm in reach, payloads can be up to 20 kg, with tabletop, ceiling, and wall mount options available. Enhanced precision has been incorporated into the design of the SCARA bots with repeatability down to 5 microns.
United Automation’s First Color-Labeling Solution
United Automation developed and produced the ColorWorks pick-and-place desktop label applicator and the ColorWorks labeling and verification machine. Using feedback from retail pharmaceutical customers, United Automation generated color labels, which could display warnings, logos, and branding on prescription bottles.
In a recent news release, the Project Manager at United Automation, Jeff Runge, said, “The ColorWorks labeling and verification machine is the first United Automation solution to incorporate color labeling.” Runge added,“Color is becoming increasingly important for retail pharmacies and now, with the ColorWorks integration, we can offer customers a comprehensive, automated color labeling device that places labels with precision and accuracy.”
Epson has been rated the #1 SCARA robot manufacturer in the world. Image used courtesy of Epson.
The ColorWorks pick-and-place desktop label applicator brings together the ColorWorks C7500 and one of Epson’s SCARA bots to allow users to feed, print, and apply color labels with ease and precision. The labeling and verification machine utilizes the ColorWorks C7500 and one of Epson’s 6-Axis bots. The combined solution provides loading, unloading, inspection, labeling, peel labeling, and verification capabilities.
Epson’s ColorWorks C7500. Image courtesy of Epson.
The labeling and verification machine is hoped to help customers achieve efficiency in printing and applying color labels while ensuring the right labels go with the corresponding bottles. Bottles running through the machine are verified via their barcode twice and can be rejected if there is a mismatch before leaving the machine.
ColorWorks labeling and verification machine users can also expect other features, including dynamic adjustment of label height based on per bottle specifications and auto-alignment of text on labels. Labels can be placed over pre-existing labels with the original barcode and expiration data remaining visible.
Other features include "picket-fence" and "ladder" barcode readability, label folding, and removable adhesive tab application to maximize print area.