A strong colleague: KUKA heavy-duty robot helps medium-sized enterprise with palletizing

At Gopeng Kalsium in Malaysia, a palletizing robot from the KR QUANTEC series helps with the palletizing of sacks in the manufacture of powdered limestone. This not only saves time, but also makes the work of the employees at the producer of powdered limestone, magnesium and dolomite considerably safer.

A heavy-duty robot helps with palletizing tasks and relieves the employees of arduous physical labor

Handling and stacking 50-kilogram sacks on pallets: what until recently was an arduous manual task at family-run business Gopeng Kalsium in Malaysia is now performed by a robotic solution from Smartsense and KUKA. This not only saves time, but also makes the work of the employees at the producer of powdered limestone, magnesium and dolomite considerably safer. The application also helps in the move towards Industrie 4.0.
The palletizing robot from KUKA relieves the burden on employees

Stressful working routine until KUKA palletizing robot entered service

Extremely hot, dusty and above all physically demanding – until recently, this was an accurate description of the strenuous working day of plant employee Bom Bahadur in Malaysia. At Gopeng Kalsium, his task was to fill sacks with pulverized stone and stack them on pallets. Twelve men worked around the clock in three shifts. “In a single shift, four of us managed about 1,200 sacks, each weighing 50 kilograms,” recalls Bom Bahadur. He and his colleagues now receive assistance from a KUKA palletizing robot from the KR QUANTEC PA series.
The palletizing robot from KUKA lifts the loads effortlessly.
“The new robot now stacks twice as many sacks, namely 2,400, in the same time,” says Bom Bahadur. Each shift, one employee controls the robot, while the others have taken on various technical tasks.

Increased work safety and greater output

Medium-sized company Gopeng Kalsium uses the palletizing robot to relieve the burden on its employees and at the same time to ensure long-term productivity. One of the main requirements: the solution had to be compatible with the existing industrial plant and its software. “We opted for a KUKA robot of type KR 180 from the KR QUANTEC PA series. Previously, Gopeng Kalsium had no automated processes. The solution from KUKA is thus ideal, as it enables uncomplicated and easy integration,” explains Yivian Ho, Chief Marketing Officer of KUKA’s Malaysian system partner Smartsense, which was responsible for integrating the palletizing robot and implementing the overall system.
“The solution from KUKA is thus ideal, as it enables uncomplicated and easy integration,” explains Yivian Ho, Chief Marketing Officer of KUKA’s Malaysian system partner Smartsense

Industrie 4.0 instead of arduous manual labor

The Gopeng Kalsium staff now only need to fill the sacks with limestone powder. Instead of hauling them around, they position the sacks on an adjacent conveyor belt that transports them to the KUKA robot. Using a gripper arm, the palletizing robot lifts the load off the conveyor and stacks it neatly on a waiting pallet. Sensors on the arm of the robot measure the position and performance data in real time and transmit them to the system computer. There they are saved in a cloud and made available for the employees to use with mobile devices.
The employees now merely place the sacks on the conveyor belt that transports the loads directly to the robot.
The sensor data of the palletizing robot provide information that can be transferred easily to the existing system software. Learning how to use the intuitive user interface is also easy: after just one hour familiarizing themselves with it, employees can use all the functions.

Human and robot work hand in hand

The solution is helping Gopeng Kalsium to move in the direction of Industrie 4.0,” says Ho Jan Neng, Technical Director at Smartsense. The cloud connection of the application helps to ensure greater safety, for example: using a checklist on a mobile device, employees test the functionality at the start of every shift. Faults or anomalies can be documented using a smartphone camera and forwarded to the service technician via Instant Messenger. “For medium-sized companies, the intelligent technology is a major step towards the Smart Factory and thus towards greater output with constant personnel requirements – an important feature for surviving against international competition.”
An employee reads out the sensor data of the palletizing robot

The new robot stacks twice as many sacks in the time previously taken by twelve employees – a major relief for us all.

Bom Bahadur, Gopeng Kalsium
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