Increased uptime and productivity - freed up storage space - increased stability during transport - reduced environmental footprint - Some of the benefits, which Aqua d'Or has achieved with Palcut’s fully automatic sheet dispenser solution. Watch the video at the bottom of the page and hear John J. Warberg, Operation Director at Aqua d’Or, tell about their experience with Palcut’s fully automated sheet dispenser.
Corrugated cardboard – a bottleneck challenge
Danish Aqua d’Or Mineral Water A/S and Palcut joined forces in 2014. A collaboration that proved to increase Aqua d’Or´s uptime and productivity by up to 8% on the automated palletising lines, corresponding 50,000 – 100,000 more bottles a day.
The production lines at Aqua d’Or fill bottles containing 0.33, 0.5, 0.75, 1.5 and 2 litres. The bottles of mineral water are stacked by a packing robot on pallets in layers of 4-7. Traditionally, a piece of corrugated cardboard was used as an interlayer sheet to protect the bottles and stabilise the pallet. But a problem with corrugated cardboard is that it takes up a lot of storage space and causes regular stops in the palletising line, because the pallets of corrugated cardboard have to be replaced and refilled manually. The problem is even greater when pallet sizes are changed, because the changeover will typically take half an hour each time. Corrugated cardboard was thus a bottleneck in the palletising workflow at Aqua d’Or.
This bottleneck challenge was resolved with the Palcut Solution – a sheet dispenser and anti-slip paper on rolls. Palcut simply replaced the old sheet magazines and corrugated cardboard with Palcut sheet dispensers and Antim65® interlayer paper on rolls.
Less storage space needed – “one size fits all”
Aqua d’Or has experienced a significant reduction in the need for pallet spaces. Previously, the corrugated cardboard sheets occupied 120 spaces, whereas now the rolls of Palcut’s Antim anti-slip paper only take up 20 spaces at the most.
Contrary to corrugated cardboard, Antim anti-slip paper on rolls take up far less storage space. This has also resulted in a far more efficient internal logistics because there is more room for pallets with finished products – in the past they used to have to drive finished products to an off-site warehouse because space was limited. The company operates with a just-in-time methodology, so a 100 extra pallet spaces mean a lot. Depending on the season, between 300 and 1,800 pallets of bottles a day are dispatched.
Less downtime – higher productivity
The pallets are alternately stacked in layers with bottles and interlayer sheets – typically in 4 to 7 layers. The sheets are cut from a roll of approx. 3,800 metres of Antim anti-slip paper. One roll corresponds to approx. 24 hours of production, whereas in the past they used to fetch a new pallet of corrugated cardboard every half hour. When the pallet size changed, new corrugated cardboard had to be fetched and production was stopped for half an hour.
With the Palcut dispenser, the sheet format is changed automatically when the change is made from packing 1/1 pallets to a ¼ or ½ pallet. “We have gone from 400m of cardboard to 3800m. That means that instead of going into the line 2 times per hour, we now only have to go every 3 hours”, says John J. Warberg, Operation Director at Aqua d’Or. He continues, “The Palcut can be programmed to adjust the paper size to the specific products without any downtime in production”.
Stable cargo during transport
Some of the pallets, stacked with filled water bottles, are transported by forklift to be wrapped in stretch film. Using Antim for interlayers mean that the pallets are far more stable, as the paper has a high friction, anti-slip coating so that the bottles do not slide – in contrast to the smooth surface of the corrugated cardboard. This has led to a significant reduction in the number of pallet collapses during transport.
Splits in the stretch film used to be a problem as well. When the sharp edges and corners of the corrugated cardboard protruded from the pallet, it caused the film to split. This has been resolved with the far softer Antim paper.
Reduced carbon footprint
Aqua d’Or is very conscious of the environmental consequences, and works in a targeted way to reduce its Carbon Water Foot Print. The company has calculated that it takes 56 times more Co2 emissions to produce 1 kg of cheese than it does to produce 1 litre of natural spring water, partly because they exclusively use green electricity from wind power. Analyses show that packaging represents 69% of Co2 emissions.
Consumption of plastic is reduced by using recycled plastic, and paper consumption is now also being reduced and kept at a low level. Using Antim paper, consumption of paper for interlayer sheets is reduced by 22 – 66 %, depending on whether the Antim being used is of 150 or 350 gsm quality. By way of comparison, the grammage of the corrugated cardboard used before was 450 gsm.
John J. Warberg says “When we look at the environmental impact, of course, by having this [Palcut] solution we impact the whole supply chain because we have less pallets meaning less transport and less handling in the factory. Secondly, it’s less cardboard. And lastly, it’s 100% recycled, which we aim to make our whole range of Aqua d’Or products”.
Aqua d'Or - video
Today, Aqua d’Or has 3 installed Palcut dispensers at their plant in Fasterholt, Denmark. Watch this video below where John J. Warberg, Operation Director at Aqua d’Or tells about all the benefits they have gained with the fully automated sheet dispenser from Palcut.
Who is Aqua d’Or?
Aqua d’Or Mineral Water A/S was founded in 1988 and is headquartered in Brande, Denmark. Every day, 100,000,000 bottles of water is produced in the factory in Denmark for the Scandinavian market and for export. The natural spring water undergoes a long but gentle process where it is being filtered through the ground for over 300 years before it reaches Aqua d’Or´s source far below the surface after which it is bottled. With a market share of 80%, Aqua d’Or is the most popular and best-selling mineral water in Scandinavia. Today, Aqua d’Or is part of Group Danone, one of the biggest and most prosperous food companies in the world. Aqua d’Or also has a very strict environmental management process, in which the carbon footprint is kept to a minimum. This includes that the bottles are made of 50% recycled plastic and are designed for circularity, meaning they are 100% recyclable. By 2021, Aqua d’Or commits to have all bottles made from 100% recycled material.