The Greenery recently starting using a robotized packaging machine. This robot was put to use in their Retail Distribution Centre in Barendrecht, the Netherlands. The machine will process a large assortment of sealed products according to specific programming. The first production runs were made this week on this machine. This was after the completion of its installation and the test phase.
The largest volume of the packaged products is being done with overhead sealing lines in the small packaging department. Whether it be aubergine, celery, Romaine lettuce, carrots, spring onions, Chinese cabbage, bok choy, string beans, various kinds of radishes, fennel, little gem lettuce, rhubarb. The list goes on and on.
These products all get wrapped in a plastic seal. This machine has been placed in the plant with the fastest sealing equipment. This guarantees that production can occur every day throughout the year.
Why a robot?
The most important reason for the robotization is to relieve employees of repetitive, difficult work. A relatively high number of people working in the production environment indicate that they suffer from problems in areas such as their shoulders, neck, and joints.
It was, therefore, a high priority to improve these working conditions. Current technological developments make it possible to build machines that can deal with high volumes of different products. This, while at the same time being sensitive enough to be able to work with these products without damaging them.
The project team worked hard on the preparations needed to take this new machine into use successfully,. These were all done before the installation of this robot in Barendrecht. During the design phase, the team met with KV Techniek several times.
Together with this supplier, they came up with the optimal design. In the test phase, the machine was also tested to see if it would work correctly. These proper preparations meant the machine could be put into use just two weeks after it was delivered.
In the future, The Greenery want to automate its production stream further. This year, The Greenery is also testing the deployment of AGVs (Automated Guided Vehicles). This is beside the robotization of its plant.
Here, too, the staff comes first. The AGVs will be used in the production areas where, now, mostly forklifts and pump trucks are used. This creates dangerous situations for the workers. By using AGVs, this danger can be greatly reduced.