New FR500 is an All-In-One, Fully Automated, High-Speed Food Bar Packaging Solution

Integrated from product loading to palletizing

TAUNTON, Mass.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–#automatedpackaging–Harpak-ULMA, the industry leader in smart, connected packaging solutions, announced the North American availability of ULMA’s FR500 — a complete end-to-end automated solution designed to package food bars into a three-sided sealed package at up to 1000 PPM. The FR500 integrates row distribution, flow wrapping, case packing and palletizing.

Traditionally, integrating these processes require users to stitch together three or four vendors’ products in a less-than-optimal approach that adds integration cost, solution complexity, and time-to-commissioning risk. Achieving high speed throughput requires Producers to solve the complicated process of synchronizing automation processes across these disparate components. In addition to the integration expense, production issues are exacerbated by the shared-responsibility challenges of multiple-vendor solutions. Finally, multi-vendor solutions delay time-to-value as Factory Acceptance Testing requires a multi-step process to evaluate individual components and their integration.

The ULMA FR500 incorporates a row distribution material handling module, a high-speed horizontal flow wrapper, and a bar top-loader cell for cartoning, with optional RSC shipper case packing and palletizing. The row distribution system ensures an efficient, continuous flow towards the horizontal wrapper, employing a buffer conveyor to manage unscheduled system stoppage. Accumulated bars in the buffer are combined with the incoming flow without having to stop the upstream process. The design allows the removal of individual components for cleaning and maintenance operations. After transference, bars are repositioned into an end-to-end orientation, and quality control is performed to reject out-of-tolerance products. If desired, its film former can accommodate 100% paper material. Cartoning is performed by the bar top-loader cell, which utilizes a high-speed star wheel to place the bars into a grouping chain. The bars and (automatically) formed cardboard cartons are fed to the cell, where a two-axis delta robot simultaneously transfers groups of bars from grouping chain to cartons, changing the pitch of the bars to match the cartons. Tertiary RSC cartoning and palletizing options are also available.

“The ULMA FR500 is a high-speed, compact end-to-end solution that takes less time for start-up and occupies less space in the customer’ s facilities,” said Hugh Crouch, Harpak-ULMA’s Flowwrap Product Manager. “The all-too-common approach – to concoct an automated solution using equipment from multiple vendors – can’t achieve the simplicity, speed, time to market, and reliability offered by a fully automatic, pre-integrated single-sourced solution.”

“Like all Harpak-ULMA packaging platforms, the FR500 is a smart, connected machine capable of leveraging our advanced Augmented Reality capabilities, including remote support, visual work instructions, and even remote OEE monitoring. As a result, the FR500 is one of the most advanced solutions in its class.”

For more information about the FR500, visit or call 508-884-2500. For live smart, connected machine demonstrations, visit Harpak-ULMA at PackExpo 2022 in Chicago, on October 23-26, at booth #3448.

About Harpak-ULMA

Harpak-ULMA is the North American arm of ULMA, a $1B industry leader in complete packaging line solutions for Food, Medical, Bakery, and Industrial products. Harpak-ULMA provides smart, connected packaging systems utilizing Rockwell Automation’s controls and information platforms to deliver greater efficiency, uptime, and throughput, as well as better package quality and reduced waste. Well-designed, reliable solutions reduce customers’ total cost of ownership, help them overcome the challenges of an aging and evolving workforce, and improve control of maintenance expenses with competitive parts sourcing. In addition to offering ULMA primary packaging systems and comprehensive automation solutions, Harpak-ULMA is the exclusive North American distributor of G. Mondini tray sealers. Harpak-ULMA joined the Rockwell Automation Partner Network in 2018 as part of its initiative to build and deploy smart, connected packaging solutions.


Mary Ahlfeld



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