Baker aims to cut employee injuries with new robotic palletising system

By Helen Glaberson

- Last updated on GMT

Related tags: Automation, Robot

Bakery ingredients supplier British Bakels has invested around €225,000 on a new robot palletising system which it claims will cut costs and improve the level of safety at its UK plant.

The new system was developed especially for Bakels by BTH Chronos Richardson Ltd, a spokesperson for British Bakels told BakeryandSnacks.com.

It has just been installed at Bakels’ Oxfordshire site, which produces a range of bakery ingredients such as bread improvers, bread pre-mixes, confectionery mixes and stabilisers.

The goods are packed into plastic bags of ranging from 10Kg to 25Kg, up to 1000Kg bulk bags.

Consisting of a fully automated single robotic Kawasaki arm, the system allows the supplier to automatically stack its products, picking them up from the end of the two production lines, said the company.

“People no longer have to lift and carry heavy bags that could weigh anything between 10kg to one tonne. This prevents back and arm injuries,”​ said the spokesperson.

“Bags are automatically dropped on pallet, thereby avoiding foot injuries,” ​he said.

However, the robotic system could, in principle, be used in any food production area where palletisation is required, said the spokesperson.

Cutting costs

An added benefit of the new line is a reduction in labour costs from what was previously a manually intensive operation, said managing director Ade Abass.

“As a company we have invested heavily to automate as much of the business as possible, thereby driving down costs,” ​he added.

In addition, Bakels said it also using the new system to improve its bag presentation and has installed a de-aeration device to remove air from the finished bag.

No jobs have been lost as a result of the automation, said the company, with existing staff being redeployed elsewhere within the business.

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