Select your location:


Select your language:

  • English
  • French
  • Dutch
  • Dutch

KUKA palletizing robot stacks crates of Corona beer at Katoen Natie

The KR Quantec PA robot equipped with a vision camera depalletizes pallets  from a height of eight crates to six fast and efficient

Katoen Natie

Katoen Natie was founded in 1854 in the Antwerp harbour. At that time the company was mainly active as guild and in storage and transport management. Due to its technological developments, Katoen Natie soon became a world player for supplying logistical and semi-industrial services to various sectors and ports. The excellent quality of their services and the continuous monitoring of the costs, form the basis for their long-term customer relations. The strength of their concept is the combination of engineering, technology, logistics and semi-industrial services. The technological solutions of Katoen Natie lead to serious cost savings for its customers.

Katoen Natie currently consists of 400 operational units with 150 terminals and logistics platforms that provide work for more than 10,000 people around the world. One of the customers of Katoen Natie is the world player in beer brewing, AB Inbev. AB Inbev brews for example the brands Budweiser, Stella Artois, Jupiler and Corona. The company is ranked first or second in many of the world's leading beer markets. Katoen Natie is responsible for shipping the containers with Corona beer in Antwerp for AB Inbev. Corona beer is delivered on pallets consisting of 8 layers of beer crates. The problem that Katoen natie experienced was that for European transport, the pallets had to be depalletized until a height of 6 layers.

Automation with KUKA System Partner AVT Europe

Originally, the pallets were manually depalletized from a height of 8 crates to 6. However, this process was very time consuming and ergonomically unfeasible. There was always a considerable risk of damaging the goods. In order to make this process more efficient and cost effective, Katoen Natie sought for an automation solution and this was offered by Official KUKA System Partner AVT Europe, who is located in Essen. Through their years of experience and knowledge in automation and robotics, AVT Europe came up with the perfect solution for the problem of Katoen Natie. Both parties had previously collaborated with each other on another automation project. Katoen Natie was very pleased with the quality and professionalism delivered by AVT Europe and therefore to collaborate again.
Official KUKA System Partner AVT Europ
The solution was provided by Official KUKA System Partner AVT Europe.

The solution: depalletzing with the KR Quantec PA

AVT Europe developed an automation solution that includes a KUKA Quantec PA robot to depalletize the supplied pallets from a height of 8 crates to 6. The KUKA robot is equipped with a vision camera with which it can define the orientation and height of the palettes. Then, the KR Quantec PA robot takes up the crates of Corona beer with a vacuum gripper and depalletizes it to a height of 6 crates. After that, the new pallets will be brought to a stretching machine where everything will be packaged and labeled after which they are ready for transport
KUKA palletizing robot
The KR Quantec PA depalletizes pallets 8 layers to 6.

The advantages by using pallet stacking robot

The personnel who were originally responsible for this assignment are now deployed as a robot operator. They must now ensure that the installation is fed with empty pallets so that the robot can depalletize the crates with Corona beer. The KUKA Quantec PA robot was the most logical choice for AVT Europe as an automation solution. This industrial 5-axis robot can reach stack heights without any effort up to 2,500 millimeters. The cycle times of this robot are also the fastest in the market, even at full payload.
KR Quantec PA robot reaces stack
The KR Quantec PA robot reaces stack height up to 2,500 milimeters.
Thanks to the automation solution of AVT Europe, Katoen Natie can now increase its capacity by as much as 50% per hour. Because the depalletzing is now performed by a KR Quantec PA robot, the chance of errors has also dropped significantly. For Katoen Natie, AVT Europe has therefore developed a customized solution that helps them to achieve their promised quality and cost reductions to their end customers.

Find KUKA system partners in your area

Find the right partner for your industry or specific challenge here.