KR QUANTEC PA palletizes 40 tonnes of animal litter per shift

The company Certech from Niedomice, Poland offers products based on bentonite, a raw material used primarily as a cleaning and decolorizing agent

The remarkably diverse products are sold to customers in a wide range of industries. These include zoology and feed production as well as deep drilling technology, foundry technology, geological engineering, horticulture and the construction industry. For nearly twenty years, a wide variety of products have been manufactured besides various types of animal litter, which make up the company’s core business.

Reduction of physical strain and standstills

Before the production line came on stream, about 3,000 sacks – weighing an average of six kilograms each – per working shift were manually taken from a conveyor and stacked on pallets. The enormous physical strain on employees as well as the possibility to reduce standstills in production provided Certech with two key reasons for automating the palletizing operation.

A KUKA robot of the KR QUANTEC PA series stacks the packaged animal litter according to specific requirements.

Correct stacking done by KUKA robots

In 2013, the company opted for two KUKA robots, which were put into operation together with a Polish system integrator. The robot takes the packages from the roller conveyor and stacks them in layers on europallets measuring 1200 x 800 mm. For 10-liter sacks, this means ten layers with nine sacks each. For 5-liter sacks, 16 layers with 13 sacks each. The sacks are stacked according to defined specifications. First the corners are filled in, then the edges and, finally, the middle of a layer. This order is necessary since the powdery nature of the goods causes the contents to concentrate in the lower part of the sack. This stacking pattern as well as an alternating orientation for each layer ensure correct stacking of the sacks on the pallet.
5 and 10-liter bags: the KUKA KR QUANTEC PA stacks them on europallets layer by layer.<br>

High precision and short cycle times

The robots used in this application are the 5-axis palletizing robots of type KR 120 R3200 PA with a maximum payload of 120 kg and a reach of up to 3,195 mm. The robots of this series stand out for their repeatability of +/- 0.06 mm. Thanks to their light components and simultaneous design stiffness, they also ensure improved dynamic performance and shorter cycle times. The properties of the robots from the KR QUANTEC PA series have, without question, contributed to the total success achieved during the commissioning of the palletizing application described above. 

Increase of output by 50%

The automation of production has led to increased output at Certech. Before the modifications were introduced, about 20 to 25 tonnes of goods per shift were stacked on pallets by workers. Now, a machine palletizes about 40 tonnes in the same amount of time. Production has been increased by around five percent. The employees also clearly benefit from the automation as they have been able to switch from physically stressful work to less strenuous tasks. 
The installations can work independently as well as combined within a work cycle.

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