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Efficient material flow for confectionery manufacturer

Efficient material flow for confectionery manufacturer

For a leading industrial cookie producer in the Netherlands, the strategic focus has always been on optimisation, requiring the manufacturer to implement lean and efficient processes and invest in intelligent automation solutions. The vast range of products offered has one requirement in common – they are all delicate, fragile and perishable products that need delicate handling. 

Production machines and especially material handling equipment need to enable operators to carry out fast changeovers, while minimising the risk of product damage. To maintain its competitiveness, this cookie manufacturer made significant investments in intelligent material handling solutions, involving primary automation partner Technisch Buro West-Brabant. TBWB was asked to design an automation concept with built-in flexibility for its customer’s palletising operations, which were mainly performed manually and resulted in a bottleneck for shipping operations. A great variety of biscuit boxes exiting more than ten production lines needed to be processed faster, increasing the palletizing capacity to 3,000 boxes per hour. 

For the transportation of biscuit boxes from the different production lines to the palletisers, the project required a great number of roller conveyors along with automatic palletisers and vertical lifts, which were supplied by another trusted partner, Qimarox. 

TBWB integrated all products into the existing factory infrastructure, taking care of PLC controls, electrical wiring, user interfaces and ERP connectivity. For the transportation of biscuit boxes from the different production lines to the palletisers, TBWB implemented the latest generation of conveyor modules from Interoll. TBWB reported the 24V roller conveyors were not only extremely easy to install, but also provided ongoing energy savings for the customer due to the decentralised, zone-driven conveying concept. For inclines and declines, Interroll belt conveyors were used. From the controls side, the new Interroll MultiControl allowed fast and easy setup and smooth integration with the PLC. 

TBWB installed and integrated this large, turnkey system within the given timeframe, while increasing the overall capacity. Due to the fragility of the biscuits, the conveying task was critical in maintaining product quality and for that reason, TBWB relied on the product quality of Interroll, which was a real guarantee for them. 

TBWB CEO Bart Friederichs said: “Avoiding product damage during the packaging operations was of critical importance. This is why the transportation of the boxes needed to be extremely gentle but at the same time really fast. For this reason, we have relied on the product quality of Interroll, which is a real guarantee for us. Just as they have in the past, Interroll has proved to be a great partner.”

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