In Barilla’s bakery in Filipstad, Sweden, modern facilities and production equipment ensure effective production of the renowned Wasa crispbread, sold in 40 different countries from Scandinavia to the US. Thanks to a high level of automation, production never stands still, but continues 24 hours a day, requiring an effective and faultless production line.
However, the factory was challenged by manual palletising in one of the lines. The line did not alone require vast maintenance costs; the physical working environment of the employees was also far from optimal, due to the repetitive work with heavy lifting. Barilla set out to change this, along with making the production in the specific line more effective. However, they also wanted a solution that would not affect the other lines of the factory.
The factory preferred a solution, able to connect the line directly with a new pallet loader. And that’s what they got - with the help from Dan Palletiser.
Today, the manual pallet handling in the line is a thing of the past - now, the job is done by a fully automatic palletising solution. The palletising robot, consisting of a MK1 pallet loader with pallet storage and feeder mechanism, is fitted with a CE approved safety guard, placed at the end of a guide rail, where it carefully handles the fragile boxes with crispbread and places them on pallets.
The pallet loader can handle different box sizes and pallet patterns, and can be set to different speeds, depending on the handled product. And with the palletising robot from Dan Palletiser, the production at Barilla can handle and pack 10 boxes per minute.
”The overall robot was tested with the original products prior to delivery, in order to ensure that the customer acquired a solution with optimal functionality - not just on paper, but also in practice. And that’s what they got. We made sure that everything was working as per specification and that the robot easily and quickly could be converted to fit other products by changing between the programmes installed by us,” says COO, Simon Rune Sørensen from Dan Palletiser.
He highlights the high level of user-friendliness and flexibility of the robot, being the overall advantage of the new system:
”The pallet loader is extremely user-friendly and easy to use, and it doesn’t take more than 30 seconds for the employees to convert the robot from one pallet pattern to another.”
At Barilla, they are also excited about the palletising robot. The solution was installed and commissioned in the existing production environment in the course of a week. This was back in 2012 and according to the management of the Wasa producer, it has run impeccably ever since:
We have reduced the line’s maintenance costs significantly and today, they are very low. Our production and service divisions are also very content with the solution from Dan Palletiser,” says Project Manager Lars Åkerström.