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Stacking and palletising eggs quickly and reliably

Stacking and palletising eggs quickly and reliably

When Netherlands-based egg processing machinery specialist Kletec needed a motion control supplier that could deliver a complete range of products, preferably worldwide, it turned to Lenze.

Developing intelligent machines for poultry farmers, Kletec provides reliable and complete systems for stacking and palletising eggs. Its most recent development is a machine that can stack cardboard boxes with eggs in different patterns up to a height of 2.5m. Kletec’s customer required a machine that could move more than a thousand a day, each weighing twenty-five kilos.

“Our customer really wanted to automate that, because it is heavy work, and it was all done manually,” says Kletec founder and managing director Wim Kleijer. “We developed that first palletising robot further and now we have a four-axis robot in which the rotating head can rotate and stack in a pattern that ensures the sturdiness of the pallet.”

Two boxes are picked up at the same time and the orientation of the boxes is an important issue. The labels on the boxes must always be read from the outside of the pallet. “We achieved this with linear guides and a belt drive– a simple technology, with high reliability, which also allows long distances to be covered at high speed,” explains Kleijer. “We used motion modules to position the cartons of eggs quickly and with as little additional movement as possible. An additional advantage is that the belt drive in combination with ball chain rails gives our machines very quiet operation.”

The motion control equipment came courtesy of Kletec’s relationship with Lenze. “We use controllers from the 8400 and i500 series,” says Kleijer. “The 120 Hz technique offers us enormous possibilities and a great deal of accuracy. You get much more torque from a cabinet over a wide speed range. In addition, we are very flexible with the B500 series of gearboxes. We use the P300 for the control.

“In fact, you could say that when it comes to pure drive technology, we use Lenze. We really use the P300 panel to perfection, I think we do things with it that even Lenze doesn’t know it can do.”

The relationship with Lenze dates back to 2011, as Kleijer explains: “At that time we were developing a robot of which some two hundred are now operational in the field. This was a palletising robot that placed thirty trays on a pallet, seven hundred and twenty eggs in one go. Until that time, Kletec had tended to use different motion control brands, but it wanted to work with a single supplier that would help it meet a primary aim of standardising quality.

“We use high-quality techniques, come up with smart solutions and develop them further and further,” says Kleijer. “However, the aim is always to move towards serial production, so we look for high-quality products at competitive prices. We also want to guarantee service and support, so it is nice if your supplier is also a reliable one.

“We have built up a lot of experience with the drives and controls from Lenze. The quality is exceptional, but also the fact that they have a total concept for the control is very nice. Lenze has shown itself to be a strong partner – not only in service, but also in the range of products. You can look at the total offer as a kind of platform where the drive and control are attuned to each other and everything can talk to each other.”


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