Starting point / Task definition
Pefferlaw Peat, an independent producer of premium soil, aggregates and mulches had functioned as a manual operation since 1954. Leading up to their decision to automate, productivity was down, and bagging and packing was becoming increasingly strenuous on employees.
The business was fast growing, and needed to increase productivity with more bags palletized per minute. Initially Pefferlaw Peat installed a low level palletizer that was not able to pick up a specific orientation to place the product on pallets, which lead to the implementation of a robotic system that could pick and place wherever needed.
Implementation / Solution
Advance Millwrights, a KUKA Robotics System Partner designed and integrated the robotic cell at Pefferlaw Peat. Using a KR 180-2 PA robot, the system allowed Pefferlaw Peat to fully replace the low level palletizer, and a manual palletizing station to create a more efficient bagging operation.
This was possible due to the robot’s high flexibility to create the required pallet patterns and its high speed of up to 18 bags per minute. Pefferlaw Peat’s Plant Manager Eric Prust states: “All results from the purchase of the robot are positive.” He then adds: “KUKA’s customer service support (hotline) has exceeded all expectations,” which is important to Eric due to his remote location.
Results / Success
Since the robot installation, aggregates increased 30% from 4,000 bags a shift to 5,700, and soils saw a 23% increase. Because of the high flexibility and productivity of the robot, Pefferlaw Peat saved an operator from having to do a strenuous task that could result in injury; increasing safety.
About Advance Millwrights
Advance Millwrights has been providing material handling and packaging solutions to the powder and bulk solids market since 1992. Their Certo Tech Division has installed several robotic bag palletizing cells in Southeast Ontario where they enjoy a truly world class reputation for innovative design, fabrication and installation in: food production plants, feed mills, grain elevators, foundries, fertilizer plants, and aggregate processors.