Flexible palletizer in the food industry

A KUKA KR QUANTEC palletizes veal sausage cans at a Bavarian food manufacturer. The palletizer speeds up the packaging process and relieves the employees of strenuous work.

Optimized intralogistics at traditional Bavarian company

This is as typically Bavarian as you can get. Fleischwerke E. Zimmermann GmbH & Co KG has been in business since 1894. Since its inception, the company has exclusively produced high-quality food on the basis of traditional recipes. Fleischwerke Zimmermann is one of Germany’s leading manufacturers of veal sausages in various packagings. A commitment to quality which also applies to palletizing in the production environment.

“Palletizing had previously been a manual operation, but that was no longer ergonomically feasible for our employees. That’s why we decided to automate the process,” explains Christian Lauer, Head of Engineering at Fleischwerke E. Zimmermann. A KUKA KR 120 R3200 PA palletizer was integrated into the process in order to optimize the intralogistics.

KUKA Customer Service programs a complex application for the food industry

The extensive programming and simulation tasks involved in the implementation were carried out by KUKA’s Application Programming department. The key challenge was for the palletizer to flexibly master product variants differing in shape and size. In total, the KR QUANTEC with its multifunctional gripper has to handle 48 different combinations of packing patterns and packages on the pallet. Accordingly, KUKA needed to develop flexible programming. Another challenge was creating a reliable error strategy for potential malfunctions – for example, what to do if a can jams, falls over or is damaged.
Equipped with a multifunctional gripper, the KR QUANTEC automates palletizing.

We are extremely satisfied with the system. We have achieved our objectives in terms of quality and reliability. In addition, we now have significantly less scrap caused by dents or deformations.

Christian Lauer, Head of Engineering at Fleischwerke E. Zimmermann

KUKA palletizer automates the entire process

In the first step, the KR QUANTEC independently transports a Euro pallet and outer carton into its workspace. The cans of veal sausages are subsequently delivered by a conveyor. The palletizing robot picks up the cans and palletizes them on the pallet. When the pallet is fully loaded, it is transferred out of the station.

The expansion of automation is a great success for the medium-sized company. The workers are also relieved of the physically demanding tasks and can now work in other areas.

The KUKA palletizer processes 48 different combinations of packing patterns.
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