Automating packaging for Baltic food company

Automating packaging for Baltic food company

Orkla Latvija  is one of the leading food and beverage company in the Baltic States. The company approached ABB seeking technology to modernize and automate its chips packing factory.  

Tight spaces and deadlines

Orkla had limited space for a new packaging line, and it had to be integrated into the existing factory production. The timetable set to deliver the project was also very tight.

Automation and safety in an ABB solution

Using robotics and safety competence know-how, ABB put together a team to deliver a tailor-made, safe and reliable solution for Orkla. The solution is based on five IRB 360 Flexpicker robots working in parallel, which optimized the infeed speed to 65 chip packets per minute.

The Flexpicker detects incoming packets with PickMaster machine vision (camera) and places them in cartons. A total of 35 conveyor belts transport the packets to and from the Flexpickers.

The robots are caged and the doors to the cage are protected by a safety solution from ABB using Pluto programmable safety controller, which identifies when the electromagnetic door locks are open and automatically switch off the machines.

Results reflect safety, protection and cost savings

ABB was able to deliver a complete solution within a very tight time frame. For Orkla, the result was a cost-efficient modern solution to replace a labor-intensive manual production process. The solution from ABB guarantees the highest level of safety while enabling flexibility to allow simple changes in the future.

“We selected ABB as the supplier by evaluating the price, how the solution complied with our requirements, the merits of the technical solution for the task and the possibility of using existing equipment,” said Orkla Project Manager Edgars Balodis. “The new solution has eliminated the need for stacking empty boxes, and the tiring manual routine labor of 24 people in three shifts has been replaced with advanced robotization equipment.”

With ABB’s range of automation and safety products, Orkla now operates a tailor-made, modern and reliable solution.

“We have received a thoughtful solution with a compact design, predominantly using stainless steel products, which was implemented without production interruption, as requested,” said Orkla Technical Department Manager Mārtiņš Velmeris. “This allows us to plan the next automation step in the same packaging workshop.”

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