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Heinz installs new Kawasaki end-of-line palletising system

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Heinz installs new Kawasaki end-of-line palletising system

October 26
10:10 2012

Heinz has installed a new Kawasaki end-of-line palletising system at its Telford production facility

The new Kawasaki system palletises ‘single serving’ sachets from four lines and plastics (bottled product) from a fifth line.

In a statement, three Kawasaki robots have freed up operator time allowing upstream filling machinery to be more efficiently managed and output to be increased.

The overall system comprises five conveyor feeds from each of the filling machines taking product to a pick-up location in the robot palletising area.  One of the three robots is dedicated to plastic containers and the other two take product from the four sachet lines.

‘Three shifts a day five days a week’

Graham Boyle, manufacturing development manager, Heinz Telford, said: “The process we automated runs three shifts a day five days a week and previously an operator’s  time was dominated by the manual handling of boxes onto pallets at the end of the line.

“Very little operator time was available to mind the filling machine.

“As the filling machines were going to be running at the same speed with automation, as they were previously, the actual final outcome of performance was uncertain – introducing additional machinery arguably adds potential for breakdown.

“In fact soon after the system was commissioned we found that the filling machines’ performance increased.  The system freed up the operator for each machine allowing them more time to sort materials and organise more effectively.”

The Kawasaki RD80 robots are programmed to handle up to 13 variants of case with each robot able to palletise onto two pallet locations and with different product, if required, palletised on each pallet.

According to Kawasaki, oriented cases of sachets arrive into the robot cell and, dependent on the programme, are picked up either one or two at a time and placed onto the pallet.  For less stable cartons the robot grippers are designed to handle cardboard layer pads.

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