Essential for factory automation! All about Customizing Stainless Steel Containers

In recent years, the trend toward automation (robotization/factory automation) has accelerated in pharmaceutical and cosmetics factories. In NITTO KINZOKU KOGYO, customers who want to use stainless steel containers in automated production lines are increasing rapidly, especially the requests of custom-made containers.

By customizing the stainless steel container according to the equipment and work to be used, you can take full advantage of the equipment’s performance and solve process problems.

In this column, we introduce customizations and products recommended for stainless steel containers to be introduced into the automation process.

How to Make Stainless Steel Containers "Easy to Handle" in the Automation Process?

To match the size of your needs

NITTO KINZOKU’s containers can be manufactured with a size that matches your work allowable size, storage space, input amount, etc. Our company works primarily with customizing height dimensions.

We can also customize the inner diameter of the container, but basically, we have to choose from the following sizes. We can also make the container of the original diameter if you would like to bear the corresponding cost such as making the mold from scratch.

Inner Diameter of our company Standard Lineup (mm)

180/210/240/270/300/330/360/387/430/470/565/635/770/1000

*Other sizes may be available. 

* The available sizes may also be limited depending on the container specifications.

To avoid interference

For example, you can customize the mounting position when the handle on the container interferes. If you don’t need the handle itself, you can choose “No Handle”.

To make it easy holding

When there is a lifting action

 

If you have an action like “ to lift the container and put it on a different pallet ”, you might want to customize it by attaching a bracket to the side of the container. The bracket can be designed to meet the specifications of the robot, so it can be held securely.

If there is no interference or other problems, you can install both a handle for people and a robot bracket.

* The handles on ordinary containers are designed to be handled by human hands and are not intended for use in robots or lifters.

When there is a grasping motion

If you have needs like “grab and flip ” handling action, you might want to customize it by machining ribs on the sides of the container. By processing the width and position of the rib according to the width of the arm and claw on the grip side, it is hard to shift and can be firmly grasped. Ribs also have the effect of increasing the strength of the container side.

The jacket can be attached to the outer surface of the container to customize the size to match the robot hand chuck.

Enhance the Stability

If the contents are heavy, the bottom of the container may swell outward, causing the container to shake and become unstable when placed or transported on a conveyor. In this case, customizing the bottom is recommended. For example, if you attach a “Skirt” to the lower part of the container, the bottom will not touch the conveyor and stability will be improved.

It can also be customized to reinforce the bottom by attaching a plate that matches the diameter of the bottom to the outside of the bottom. The bottom is hard to deform and stability is improved. It is also possible to raise the thickness of the container itself without using a reinforcing plate.

You can also customize the bottom by embossing it to increase its strength of the bottom. In addition to increasing the strength of the bottom to prevent it from bulging, the center of the bottom, which tends to bulge, does not come in contact with the conveyor, which improves the stability.

For Easy-Opening

Open by Just Lifting the Lid


If the lid is easy to open and close, it will be easy to be automated. It is recommended to customize the container based on a cover type container, rather than an airtight container with parts to fix the lid. The cover can also be customized with a handle or bracket that matches the robot hand.

Just turn the cap to open it!


If rotating (twisting) motion is possible, a container with a screw cap is recommended. Screws are mainly used in small-capacity bottles. It is also airtight compared to a cap lid.

How to Make Stainless Steel Containers "Easy to Wash" in an Automated Process?

Improve the cleanability of the inner surface of the container

It is recommended to apply electrolytic polishing to the inner surface of the container which directly touches the contents so that it does not get dirty easily. By electrolytic polishing, the inner surface of the container, the residue on the surface is removed and the surface becomes smooth, preventing dirt from sticking.

If you are handling highly viscous liquids, we recommend you to apply fluorine resin coating. It has features such as non-stickiness, which prevents most substances from sticking, and water repellency, which repels water and oil, and can remove dirt quickly.

Improve the washability of the outer surface of the container

There are many parts on the outer surface of the container, and it is a place where unevenness occurs after washing. The parts where dirt and cleaning solution are likely to remain can be customized in consideration of cleanability. Our company can propose sanitary specifications that are superior in cleanability.

For example, we recommend customizing the edge of the container with a curl seal (fully circumferential welding) that completely closes the gap. 

For the handle, we recommend a round bar handle (sanitary type) that can be sealed by welding all the mounting parts.

How to Make Stainless Steel Containers "Manageable" in the Automation Process?

Adding Laser Mark to the Container

Laser-marking is recommended because it is a printing method that does not peel off and does not disappear even after washing, and also prevents tampering. The original control number or QR code can be printed on the side of the container or on the lid.

Add a label pad

It is recommended to add a seal seat which is easy to peel off the label when the label is reattached after managing with bar code labels.

Add a card holder

If you use a paper card, we recommend adding a card holder to prevent it from getting wet and dirty.

Management with RFID
When managed by RFID, the container can be managed by attaching an RF tag. You can customize the container according to how the RF tag is installed.

Designed and manufactured stainless steel containers for automation and robotization

Please let us know the details such as the shape of the container you want, the usage, and the working condition. We will propose the most suitable stainless steel container for you. Please feel free to contact us for information such as product availability and quotation.