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Maximizing palletizing flexibility


Food
When customer demand is rising, the palletizing often becomes a bottleneck. This is how capacity and flexibility requirements were matched for a coffee manufacturer.

Challenge
Increase the palletizing capacity within a limited factory area and to enable customer order initiated palletizing patterns.

Solution
One automated and fully flexible palletizing cell serving six packaging machines. The cell is equipped with three robots where the controls is connected to the company ERP system.

Benefits
Release of floor area, increased production efficiency with products palletized against customer orders. 


A large coffee manufacturer produces a wide range of coffee in different packaging shapes and weights. New products are frequently being introduced and in the factory, there is limited production area.

Palletizing bottleneck

Manual palletizing was initially chosen because of flexibility requirements but soon became the bottleneck. In order to meet the coming demands, the coffee producer aimed for a capacity of 50 pallets per hour at a picking speed of 60 cartons per minute with the option of 15 layer patterns.

Compact layout releasing space

An integrated and automated palletizing solution from FlexLink solved the capacity constraints while safeguarding system flexibility and capability.

Six packaging lines are served by one palletizing cell offering the full flexibility of the system within limited space. The lines are connected to the cell via overhead conveyors allowing both a compact footprint and good access for people. FlexLink provided the integrated three robot cell along with a solution for the overall distribution of empty and full pallets, a wrapper and a labeler. Aditionally, the entire system was connected to the company ERP system, keeping track of the complete production process, including warehouse management and dispatch of orders.

Increased efficiency and flexibility

Overall efficiency has increased significantly and the automated palletizing safeguards flexibility with capability. The new cell is also very easy to manage. Only one person per shift is needed to bring the empty pallets, change the foil in the wrapper and the labels, and monitor the whole process.
 
  • An overhead conveyor transports boxes from six secondary packaging machines to the palletizing cell.
  • Six packaging lines are served by one palletizing cell.