This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

Robot stacks cheese with ease

15 December 2010

A KUKA robot has turned the tricky, cumbersome task of palletising large 30kg boxes of cheese into a quick, agile operation at one of Britain’s oldest cheesemakers

The high payload KR 100-2 PA model is being used at Barber’s Maryland Farm in Somerset as part of an automated packing line, designed by integration specialist Güdel to handle 250 cheese blocks an hour.

The lightweight robot, supplied by Halesowen-based KUKA Automation + Robotics, is equipped with a bespoke finger gripper tool to pick up the hefty, wooden containers from a heavy-duty roller conveyor system.

As a box reaches the palletising station, it is flipped on to its side ready to be lifted by the gripper, which also features a pair of plungers to keep the load in place.

The robot is programmed to stack 60 boxes on to a two-way pallet, which is then transported by forklift truck to a storage facility where the cheese is matured. The system is also used to palletise 25kg boxes of butter.

Barber’s was not only keen to develop an automated solution to replace the arduous manual packing and stacking process, but also improve the reliability of its box strapping operation, explained Julian Ing, head of engineering.

The new system means packing staff are now only required to put the cheese blocks into boxes and apply lids before placing them on to the roller conveyor belt unit where they are passed to the automated strapping and palletising stations, he added.

“It’s a real success story and everyone is very pleased with the way the system is running. We spent quite a lot of time on developing the right solution, especially as the location for the cell offered a very small footprint and the challenges of a low, sloping roof and busy forklift truck access area,” said Julian.

“As well as helping to address health and safety concerns by reducing the amount of manual handling, the switch to automation has also achieved a more efficient strapping process, an important part of the operation that had previously been problematic,” he stated.

KUKA’s KR 100-2 PA, part of a dedicated range of palletising robots, is capable of stacking pallets up to 3m high and is designed to cut cycle times and lower production costs.


Contact Details and Archive...

Print this page | E-mail this page

RELATED CONTENT...


Article image Food-friendly robot

FANUC UK has launched a new robot for cleanroom and food-handling environments.Full Story...

Article image Robots: Putting a case for their defence!

Production and packing lines can stop working for any number of reasons, so why is the default assumption that a robotic malfunction is to blame? Paul Wilkinson offers some advice on getting to the real root of a problem. Full Story...

Designing hygienic robots to suit the food industry

Dropping our robot defences

First FANUC m410ic/185 robot in the field at Askew & Barrett

RELATED SPONSORED ARTICLES...


Article image A fresh perspective

Chris Sumner, MD of FANUC UK, considers why robotic uptake within the fresh produce segment has been lower than that in other manufacturing sectors. Full Story...

Article image Packing line sneak preview – 4 March, Essex!

A turnkey packing line featuring FANUC’s new-generation palletiser (M410ic/185) will be on display at a FREE event hosted by automation and integration expert Pacepacker. Food processors and packers will see live demonstrations of a bulk handling line incorporating the latest weighing, bagging, metal inspection, palletising and stretch wrapping equipment. Book now - 4 March, Essex!Full Story...

20+ new Blu-Robot pick and place solutions with fast ROI

MOST VIEWED...


Article image What role does refrigeration play in the supply chain?

Controlling the temperature of food across the whole supply chain is vital to extend shelf life. But how much can be gained by food manufacturers through careful monitoring at all process stages?Full Story...

Article image Anheuser-Busch InBev’s distribution strategy model

Over the past 10 years Anheuser-Busch InBev (A-B InBev) has grown its global distribution network using a strategy which goes against the grain for traditional brewery specifications. In place of cost and time intensive permanent structures, it has adopted a design-driven approach in partnership with Herchenbach, a manufacturer of temporary buildings and semi-permanent warehouses. Full Story...

A recipe for continuous improvement success

Getting the best out of PLCs

Time to rethink your water strategy?

http://www.fdf.org.uk/events/Cyber-Security?utm_medium=email&utm_source=emailer&utm_campaign=cyber-security-feb-2018https://eclipsemagnetics-mail.com/p/4G37-24D/free-site-survey