Automatic Inline Strapping System for Fibreboard Distribution Centre
Client: Fibreboard distribution Centre
Industry: Timber Industry
Packaging solutions provided: Automatic Strapping Line
Date of installation: March 2015
Our customer distributes high quantities of fibreboard to a number of remote centres around Australia, as well as customer specific orders which can vary in size & shape.
Our customer had a number of specific requirements for their packaging line, such as early morning and late afternoon peaks in activity. They needed a solution that could handle intense peaks by maintaining workload efficiently and packaging consistency.
FROMM Australia engineered a strapping system to handle mixed loads, utilising automatic sensors, eliminating the need for manual setting changes when strapping mixed packs. Mixed orders, once picked, are consolidated and then put onto the strapping station for processing. The system will then automatically sense the size of the pack, place bearers & strap the pack, unassisted, in less than two minutes.
We installed a robotic arm which automatically places bearers, eliminating the need for an employee to do this task. The robotic arm picks a bearer and places it into a special channel so the bearer is fixed underneath the pack. Traditionally this was a manual function which required up to 500,000 human movements per year to pick up and place the bearer. This risk of human error & employee injury has been eliminated by the robotic arm.
Three packs can be on the line at any given time with two forklift drivers, one at each end, loading & unloading as another pack is being strapped for peak efficiency. With a reliable, automatic system such as this, forklift operators are free to focus on other tasks, saving time & increasing efficiency dramatically.
As with any automatic packaging system, safety is of utmost importance. This particular installation features 4X category three safety cells designed to reduce nuisance trips and maximise safety for employees. We also account for up-keep and risk of damage to the machine; we included a self-cleaning suction pad on the bearer lifter & an upstroke, designed to make forklift access easier whilst also protecting the conveyor chains. Our goal is always to create a system that works all year with minimal maintenance or downtime.
This installation was designed by the FROMM Packaging Australia team. The designs were then sent to FROMM’s global manufacturing centre where the machine was built and tested to meet FROMM’s strict quality assurance standards. Once shipped to Australia, the installation process was completed & working within 3 weeks.
A project such as this can be installed and commissioned for under $500,000.
Overall the inline strapping machine improved throughput, had capability to easily scale up to deal with extremely busy periods and by removing all manual staff handling they experienced a significant decrease in the amount of OH&S claims.