Vital Petfood: “An end to palletising changeover time”
Vital Petfood Group
Vital Petfood Group has removed the changeover time with a smooth transition between full and half pallets with a new palletising line. Smooth sacks and pallets over two metres high used to be a bad combination, but now this can be handled at the manufacturer's factory in Denmark.
Vital Petfood Group manufactures pet food and specialises in solutions for ‘private label’ customers. The manufacturer’s demands for quality are so high that their production meets the strictest standards for the production of foodstuffs for humans at their two Danish factories in Hasselager and Ølgod. In Hasselager, food is produced for wild birds and rodents, while Ølgod produces dog and cat food.
“Flexibility and adaptability are important sales parameters for a niche manufacturer like us, where we are also in a market with fierce competition,” says Jan Stig, group technical manager at Vital Petfood Group AS.
Recently, the company installed a new line for palletising sacks of dog food at their factory in Ølgod. The line is equipped with a Palcut sheet dispenser, a foil wrapper and a robot, which places sacks and interlayer sheets alternately on the pallet.
No more changeover time
The new setup solved the problem of a cumbersome changeover on the palletising line every time the pallet size changed. Previously, it took employees a great deal of time, because the roll of anti-slip paper for interlayer sheets had to be changed every time.
“With the new Palcut sheet dispenser, there is no changeover time when changing pallet size, so we save 20 minutes each time,” says Jan Stig.
The Palcut dispenser automatically cuts the required sheet size from the 120cm-wide roll of anti-slip paper. Thanks to a new construction with a double blade, it cuts and dispenses the optional interlayer sheet for 1/4, 1/2 or whole pallets. This is done without any changeover time, whereas previously the paper roll had to be switched at each change.
Smooth sacks stand up better
On the palletising line, pretty, colourful sacks of dog food are stacked on pallets up to a height of 2.2 metres. The sacks are smooth, with a nice colour print, so the dog food can be displayed at its best in the shops.
But beauty comes at a price. The smooth surface makes the sacks so slippery that they risk sliding apart so that the pallet becomes unstable or are at risk of collapse during transport. This is resolved by using Antim anti-slip interlayer sheets. Previously, glue was used to stick the sacks together, but it could seep into the lovely print.
Instead, the pallets of dog food are now stacked up with an interlayer sheet at the bottom and then one sheet for every 1-3 layers of sacks, depending on how smooth the sacks are, before the pallet is finally wrapped using a little stretch film.
“The anti-slip interlayer sheet ensures that the sacks are 100 percent stable, and at the same time the fine colour print on the sacks is protected,” says Jan Stig.
The sacks are almost too set
“We found that the pallets are very stable indeed. We have a pick and pack warehouse where we take the sacks from pallets. We were not far off the warehouse man not being able to pull the sack out from the pallet, because anti-slip interlayer sheets have been used. They are almost too stable,” says Jan Stig with a smile, but he is pleased that this provides some very safe pallets, and that problems never occur during transport.
“We are a make-to-order company in the private label market, where we have to be extremely flexible with delivery times, pallet sizes etc. With the new palletising line, we have become even better at meeting customers’ needs,” concludes Jan Stig of Vital Petfood Group A/S.