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Chronos BTH is to install a robot palletising system at the British Bakels powder blending and production unit in Oxfordshire.

British Bakels is a supplier of ingredients to the baking industry, manufacturing and distributing a range of products – some of which are tailor made for industrial and in-store bakeries, while others are specifically developed for the craft and food service sectors.

A range of bread and confectionery ingredients is produced and packed in sizes from 250g to one tonne bags.

The Chronos BTH robot palletising system will palletise 10kg to 25kg sized bags produced from two existing Chronos BTH packaging lines.

One of these is manually operated, while the second is an automatic packing line.

Chronos BTH equipment will be integrated into the manual packing line to provide bag flattening, metal detection and bag transferring to the robot palletiser cell.

The automatic packing line will have a secondary de-aeration system installed and the provision of cross conveyors to transfer the filled bags to the robot palletiser cell.

When operational, the robot palletiser and gripper head will select pallets appropriate to its palletising program, for either the manual or automatic packing lines.

The gripper will place a slip sheet onto the pallet before commencing bag palletising.

The operating protocol will allow the robot to pick and palletise bags whenever they are available from each packing line.

Integrated conveying systems are designed to accumulate filled bags during the empty pallet placing and replenishing cycles.

Downstream from the robot palletiser there is an existing wrapper.

The robot palletising system has been rated for anticipated future increases in packing output, and includes space for automatic empty pallet dispensing systems and automatic wrapper.

Simon Dawson of British Bakels said: ‘This project started in 2010 and aimed to review manual handling in the production areas.

‘Our powder products that come off our two main production lines are weighed into different pack sizes varying from 10kg to 25kg in plastic bags to 1,000kg flexible intermediate bulk containers.

‘Currently, the plastic bags are manually stacked onto the finished goods pallet, which had health-and-safety implications we knew we could improve or eliminate.

‘As a result, in 2010 we started looking at end-of-line automation.

‘We selected Chronos BTH because it was able to provide an integrated conveying and palletising system that provided us with a reliable solution to meet our requirements, plus an inbuilt ability to cope with future plant upgrades.’

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