Robotic multi-line palletising

Monday, 30 April, 2007

Scott Package Handling Systems was selected by Fonterra's Canpac sachet packaging plant in Hamilton to supply a sophisticated multi-line, robotically-operated palletising system that could be operated without staff involvement.

The system needed to be located directly in Canpac's warehouse to reduce forklift movements, and had to be capable of handling 33 cartons a minute of multiple sizes and weights, all automatically sorted onto multiple pallet configurations. Pallet load labelling and automatic load stretch wrapping was also an integral part of the overall automated system. Fonterra simply wanted to collect the finished pallet load and place in it in its store for dispatch. The Fonterra set-up required 10 lines to replace a work gang of 10 or more. It was also required to operate in 24/7 conditions.

The palletiser is meeting all of Fonterra's expectations. "Scott's design met all of our functional requirements and what we believed we needed to achieve by implementation of this project," said Packaging & Plant development manager, Tim Kirk.

Apart from the robots, which were imported from Sweden, the system was entirely Scott designed and manufactured.

Multi-line systems have considerable economic benefits as staff members are freed up for other tasks where they are less likely to suffer injury from repetitive lifting. OHS concerns are also overcome by implementing a robotic system, especially as the weights that staff are permitted to carry under OHS regulations are steadily coming down.

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