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Fully automatic palletising solution runs uninterrupted

A traditional fully automatic palletising solution handles a plethora of trays containing margarine at Unilever in Katowice, Poland.

Unilever owns the margarine factory in Katowice, which consists of manufacturing, storage facilities for both finished goods and raw materials, as well as a refinery. This is where Unilever produce the oldest margarine brand in the world - Rama.

Unilever's margarine production sets the benchmark for the European market.
Previously, the packing of goods on the production line predominantly consisted of manual labour and palletising. This was a costly solution and limited the organisation's ability to increase future production capacity. Unilever was therefore searching for a solution to facilitate an increase in productivity.

Dan Palletiser is one of Unilever's preferred suppliers. A successful installation and effective cooperation with Unilever in Leeds resulted in Unilever Polska SA investing in four fully automatic palletising robots from Dan Palletiser.

Successful Installation

The palletising solution consists of four MK3 loaders, which palletise from five production lines simultaneously. The greatest challenge during installation was the lack of space in the production area, however the MK3 loader has a small footprint and is extremely flexible.

"Dan Palletiser offered with their fully automatic palletising robot the absolute best system for us, whilst being in complete control of building precise layers. It is cruicial that the layers are perfectly built. Even an overhang of 1mm is unacceptable", explains project manager, Krzysztof Machura, Unilever Polska SA.

In close cooperation between Krzysztof Machura, project manager at Unilever Polska SA and Dan Palletiser, the available space was utilised to its maximum potential. Dan Palletiser's agent in Poland, MAS Trading, ensured a timely delivery and that the installation was successfully completed by the contractual date.

Description of the Palletiser Solution

The margarine arrives from the production lines packed in carton boxes. The carton boxes run through the packing lines in two levels and multiple pallet patterns.

Dan Palletiser's plant receives the carton boxes via a spiral track, where the carton boxes are then transported to the top loading palletiser in the required pallet patterns. When a row is ready, the carton boxes are pushed out in the correct amount, which is repeated until the layer is complete.

The entire layer is then pushed out on the loading plane where the elevator descends whilst the loading plane moves forward. Front and sideguards as well as a counter positioning arm ensure the layer is centred on the pallet. The loading plane moves backwards and the layer is transferred to the pallet. This is repeated until the pallet is full. The finished, palletised pallet is transported via roller conveyors to a wrapper.

This procedure is repeated on all of the installed palletiser robots. The process can be controlled manually via the operator's panel, where new patterns can easily be programmed.

Following the installation of Dan Palletiser's solution, we have reduced our operating costs, improved capacity and increased earnings", explains project manager, Krzyszrof Machura, Unilever Polska SA.

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