Safe travels for dog food bags
Animal feed producer Doggy has installed a production line for filling bags of dry dog food and loading them on pallets. One of the key components to the entire line is the Palcut sheet dispenser.
The final product, i.e. completed pallets, is therefore a determining factor for the layout of the line as a whole. A picking robot stacks or places bags on the pallet and then places an anti-slip paper sheet between layers if necessary, because not all bag sizes can be placed on the palette in such a way that they interlock. The unit consists of a Fawema filling machine, which fills the bags, and transport belts with a marking system, delivered by Mectec. Finally, a robot places the bags on pallets, which are film-wrapped.
“We simply would not have had room for the equipment if not for the Palcut solution”, says Torbjörn Pettersson, head of production for Doggy.
Torbjörn Pettersson says that the Alingsås company Speedpac delivered the palleting section with the Palcut robot, which cuts interlayer sheets, and the stretch wrap film machine from Cyklop.
The Palcut solution is a sheet dispenser that cuts fairly large sheets directly from the roll and delivers these to the robot, which then places them on the pallet as bottom sheets, interlayer sheets, or top sheets as needed. The sheets are cut to request, such as if a smaller sheet is needed to bind the layer.
A major plus of Palcut solution is this ability to cut sheets of different sizes directly from the roll. This means the robot can pick sheets one at a time instead of taking them from a stack. That method is more difficult to control, as the sheets have a tendency to cling to one another because the suction cups need to work with a certain degree of force. This means that thicker sheets need to be used.
For Palcut it is important to market the solution as a less expensive alternative to ready-cut sheets.
“We have a calculation module that demonstrates the profitability of our solution. We enter a pre-determined number of operational downtime and the number of minutes these take. This adds up to a significant figure over the course of a year. There’s no more persuasive argument than this,” says Preben Nielsen, Sales Manager at Palcut.
For several years, Doggy, located in Vårgårda, Sweden, has been using the solution to cut interlayer sheets and top sheets for pallets of sacks containing dry food for dogs. “Eighty percent of our production is packed on this line and we have only had one operational outage because of the Palcut,” reports Torbjörn Pettersson.
Tougher requirements on transport security
This was one of the reasons that the Lantmännen Group, which owns Doggy, chose to invest in a new machine of the same type. Another was the fact that it would be possible to save on the amount of interlayer sheets and reduce the thickness of the sheets used. 110 grammes is the lowest weight used. In addition, the amount of stretch wrap around the pallets can be reduced, thanks to the anti-slip paper sheet. “Our calculations show that we can use nearly 50 percent less stretch wrap,” says Preben Nielsen.
For Doggy’s part, this means that transport damages have been reduced at a time when these have otherwise shown a tendency to increase.
“We notice a clear impact from the increasing number of roundabouts on the roads. They cause increased damage to goods,” concludes Preben Nielsen.