Friday 21st Oct 2016 - Logistics Manager

CKF automates Muller Dairy repack operation

Müller Dairy has upgraded its re-pack line with automation designed and installed by CKF Systems of Gloucester.

Its previous system was over-reliant on manual systems, and had not been designed to handle its twin pot yogurt product, which has become a key growth area for the business.

The functional requirement of the new repack system was to take packed yogurt from a pallet, produce a multi pack, repack and palletise.

Müller project engineer, Martyn Steadman, said: “The existing configuration had to be re-engineered to eliminate bottlenecks, new motors and software installed and innovative conveyor protocols introduced to ensure accurate product alignment in readiness for high speed handling.”

The system has four infeed legs to enable it to handle multi packs. Each leg accumulates stacked trays which are then de-stacked prior to a gantry unload system removing the yogurts from the trays. It then places them onto a flexpicker infeed conveyor which guides each pot to a required datum. The empty trays are then transported down the line ready for re-use at the packer.

Four ABB flexpickers then track the infeed conveyor and the flow wrapper infeed, selecting the required number of pots and placing them into each flight. Once flow wrapped, the multipacks are transferred through 90 degrees and collated within the packer prior to being placed back into the initial trays.

Müller reckons its new fully automated repacking line is at least 50 per cent more efficient and able to handle double the numbers that were being achieved manually.