Nestlé Smithtown's Robotic Palletising & Conveying Solution from Fibre King

February 12, 2019

 

The Challenge:

To supply a fully automated end of line packaging solution that integrates into existing production line, within a short timeframe. 

 

The Solution:

Nestlé, the world’s largest food and beverage company has more than 2,000 brands ranging from global icons to local favourites, and are present in 189 countries around the world.  Their manufacturing facilities are designed to the highest standards that incorporate employee safety, high productivity and minimal environmental impact.  When Nestlé look to upgrade or open a production facility they only work with reputable suppliers that align with their core business values.  Fibre King Pty Ltd has worked with Nestlé for over 20 years providing end of line packaging solutions for a number of their facilities around the globe.  

 

Fibre King has a proven reputation for providing equipment that combines practical design, robust manufacturing and simple operation providing its customers with a thoroughly reliable machine built to endure constant, rigorous use.   Fibre Kings success stems from their ability to understand their customers’ needs through collaboration and draw on their 90 years of engineering experience to be able to develop solutions that exceeds production expectations. 

The Nestlé Smithtown, Australia project called upon a solution that would fully automate their end of line packaging process as well as integrate into their existing production line, all within a short timeframe.  Fibre King was up for the challenge and delivered a dual palletising robot with conveying system to Nestlé that met their all of their performance indicators.

 

Project Details:

 

Product Infeed

The products exit the case packer, in a tray and hood, hood down.  A custom inline flipper inverts the product WFL so the hood is then on the top.  The product is then conveyed out of the flipper and is turned NFL via a side datum turner, to then enter a spiral conveyor at low level conveying up to a high-level case conveyor.  The products are conveyed from the flippers on the outfeed of the case packers NFL over to the pick off conveyor of the robot palletising cell. As part of this conveyor system there is a section of Low Back Pressure Accumulation conveyor that takes up the accumulation of product during the pallet change over process.  The Products are then conveyed onto the product pick off roller conveyor which incorporates a gate and brake assembly to meter the product into the 90 deg index station where the product is pushed WFL into the pick off station.  The ABB IRB460 Robot will pick the products using a vacuum gripper in groups of 1-7 products at a time, depending on the pattern required.  The gripper head has 32 cups, split into 20 segments, connected to a vacuum pump that are controlled to operate on and off, depending on the product formation.  The products are picked and placed onto the pallet, in the correct pattern formation.

 

Pallet Conveying

Stacks of 10 Pallets are loaded into the pallet dispenser. The dispenser lifts the stacks of pallets leaving only the bottom pallet. The remaining pallet is conveyed out of the dispenser and the stack of pallets is lowered. This process is repeated to dispense pallets.  The pallets are then conveyed from the pallet dispenser by a pallet roller conveyor.  A pallet stop gate will extend through the rollers to stop the pallet for the pallet board dispenser to place a pallet board onto the top of the pallet.  This is SKU dependant, and can be set in the SKU recipe

 

The empty pallets are transferred onto the palletising conveyors using a 90° extendable chain driven transfer. The empty pallets are driven against a stop on the end of the conveyor to datum the pallet for palletising.  When the pallets are completed, they are conveyed and transferred to the forklift pick up roller conveyor. Robot Cell A, Robot Cell B and the pallet handling system are all in different safety zones, to provide additional accessibility in and around the system.

 

Fibre King successfully designed, manufactured, installed and integrated their end of line packaging solution into the Nestlé, Smithtown facility.  “The project ran very well from start to finish, all due to the collective collaboration between Fibre King and Nestlé from the start.” Says Dale Sinclair, Fibre King Project Engineering Manager. 

 

 

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