For many years, the company has handled the packing lines with manual palletising but increased international demand and plans for further growth have created a need to optimise production.
For Danny Berg, Crispy Food Technical Manager, it was critical to implement an automation solution that would ensure more stable production with increased productivity:
We have a completely different stability and calmness in the production hall because our employees no longer have to handle manual palletising. They have more time to focus on other parts of the production process, which means that today we have fewer stoppages on the production line and thus also a higher efficiency,” says Danny Berg.
The automatic palletising system has also provided a better work environment in the production hall. The heavy lifting of manual palletising has been eliminated, while internal transport of pallets around the production hall has been optimised. This has created more space on the production line around the filling machines, which has made it possible to design the workstations more efficiently and ergonomically. Danny Berg explains: “It means a lot to our employees’ well-being that the heavy lifting is gone and that they now have more room in which to move. That means happier and more motivated employees, and it rubs off on production efficiency as well.
The process of developing and implementing the automation solution was based on close collaboration between the parties, with focus on a high level of information and good dialogue. The final optimisation solution was developed based on thorough preparation, where the production processes were analysed in detail to find the right automatic palletising solution. The unique thing about this particular palletising system is a built-in tilting station in the tracks that turns selected boxes so that they can then be placed upright on the pallet. This sort of upright palletising is not a typical manoeuvre for robotic palletising, but for Crispy Food it was the solution to meet the requirements for steps that include packing the pallets prior to transport.
The transition from manual to automated production can seem complicated at the beginning, but for technical manager Danny Berg it has been a positive process: The weekly status meetings with the project team at BILA gave us continuous information and overview throughout the process, while allowing us to respond to specific challenges here and now. This has given us the freedom to focus on the day-to-day operations of our production because we knew that the project team was in control of the implementation of the project.
But Crispy Food is not finished with automation in their production. Quite the contrary. The leading food manufacturer will work actively with BILA on potential business cases and development projects to form the basis for future automation projects.
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