In 2005 CSi was asked to design a fully automatic palletising system for one of the world’s leading snack food manufacturers at its factory in Spain. Prior to CSi’s involvement at site the entire end-of-line packaging and palletising operation was carried out manually. Due to the scale of the project the customer asked CSi to design the solution in four distinct phases.
The customer’s goals were simple – to significantly increase the efficiency and capacity of the system whilst at the same time significantly improving the environment for the remaining operators. In particular the principle of creating energy efficient and sustainable processes were a priority. Although not a technically demanding project for CSi, the need to install during full production with other radical modernisation programs in progress represented certain challenges. This project has been closely monitored by other sites within the group and will act as a benchmark for future palletising systems across the world.
The first phase started in 2005 with the introduction of case conveyors that allowed the hand palletising area to be positioned closer to the warehouse, thus streamlining the flow of products towards the loading bay area that until that time, had been very congested. The second phase saw CSi making significant modifications to the production machine layout to allow for the introduction of automated case packing equipment that would significantly increase the productivity of the site and raise overall efficiencies.
The third phase involved the installation of sixteen robot palletisers connected to 32 production lines, all capable of running simultaneously, producing over 100 pallets per hour. The last phase has yet to start, but will involve automating the flow of pallets from the end of the production lines to the finished goods warehouse.
All of the goals set by the customer on this project have been exceeded on this project and are the results of the extremely close collaboration between the engineering and project teams of both parties.
A new range of conveyors was specifically designed for this customer, to operate in an energy-efficient way and to fulfil their sustainability requirements. Benefits of this new conveyor, apart from its energy-efficiency, are its use of biodegradable or re-useable materials and its highly efficient production methods, resulting in an almost carbon neutral conveyor system.
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