The demanding requirements of KP Foods at Ashby de la Zouch for a material handling system for their Skips and HulaHoops line tested the creativity of Industrial Automation to the full.
A low ceiling and the requirements for minimal maintenance were two of the major challenges according to Paul Thexton, the IAL project manager.
The system, which has successfully operated for the past 12 months, incorporates four IAL Smart Palletisers, a Staktec pallet dispenser, a Garmac pallet conveyor, barcode readers and Omron control equipment. It was fully configured by IAL to handle up to 38 snack products 24 hours per day, seven days per week.
`We chose the system because it offered compact size and the ability to create pallets up to 3m high. It had proven capability and was supplied by a company that met cost and delivery deadlines,’ saidTerry Bithell, site engineering manager of KP Foods.
`Key to a successful installation was IAL’s ability to alter and develop the system specification as our plans and requirements changed. Their ISO9002 project management structure meant we were fully informed throughout. Delivery was smooth, the system was up and running with minimal problems,’ added Bithell.
At the heart of the system are four IAL Smart palletisers. Each is fed sealed product cases without operator intervention. A barcode reader indicates the product to be packed ensuring the correct palletiser is selected. Up to seven products can be packed simultaneously, on the sophisticated end of line packing unit and the system can pack up to 90 pallets per hour.
Product changes can be made quickly, and completed pallet loads are fed to a buffer storage area for onward over-wrapping and despatch.
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