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Zero accidents since installation of collaborative robots

13 January 2020

The Denmark division of Carlsberg has significantly improved staff safety and taken steps towards achieving zero accidents since integrating cobots into its Fredericia-based factory. 

According to Thomas Kern Ruby, senior project manager at Carlsberg Fredericia, previous to installing the cobots, incidents were a common occurrence on the factory floor. He explains: “Although our production line was highly automated, it still required some degree of human input. This was mainly during the packaging process which saw our workforce manually carrying packaging cartons from the pallet to the magazine. This was a monotonous and strenuous task and often staff endured repetitive strain or sustained severe cuts while removing the packaging cable.”

To overcome these safety concerns, the company invested in two cobots, a UR3 and a UR10 from Universal Robots. With a payload of up to 10kg, the company uses the UR10 to pick up a stack of 10 cartons which are tied together with packaging cable. The UR3 is used to cut and dispose of the cable and the UR10 then places the stack in the magazine. Working in tandem, the cobots can handle up to 500 packaging cartons per hour, allowing Carlsberg Fredericia to alleviate and upskill its human workforce to focus on high priority tasks, such as quality control and line maintenance. 

Ruby explains: “This process previously accounted for 60% of one employee’s workload. Today, this stage only requires one operator to drive a pallet of cardboard boxes onto the line and oversee the process. The UR10 and UR3 does all the rest. This frees up our team to focus of more demanding tasks that improves their job satisfaction and crucially, keeps them safe. This has helped us realise our goal and achieve a zero accidents culture, a key part of our sustainability programme, Together Towards Zero.”

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