Replacing backbreaking work with robots; this is what the Steffen-Ris company of the Fenaco cooperative has done at the potato packing plant in Bätterkinden. A prototype of the TwinAutomation company from Emmenmatt packs the potatoes there from now on.
"This gives us flexibility and, above all, consistency," says the head of Steffen-Ris' performance center, Klaus Meier (right). "It allows us to plan well and be operationally excellent. Of course, we operate similarly with the employees, but there is not the same amount of flexibility." Compared to before, it is now possible to do about one-and-a-half times what was previously managed by human hands, Meier adds.
Facilitating and supporting employees
This change would probably have been necessary sooner or later anyway. "The work that is now eliminated might otherwise have been eliminated from a health standpoint. Doing that work all day would have been difficult. It would have taken rotations and that would not have been possible because the person involved would have had to do the same work on the next machine after that. This brings relief and support to our employees." The new robot in the potato packing plant in Bätterkinden cost around 500,000 Swiss francs.