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Animal Feeds

Full Case Study on Liffey Mills Installation:

  Belt Conveyors Accumulate and Deliver a Bag to the Robot every 3 Seconds

Belt conveyors accumulate and deliver
a bag to the robot every 3 seconds


Liffey Mills, one of Ireland’s largest ruminant animal feed manufacturers, has recently doubled production and installed a turnkey palletizing and pallet wrapping system at their mill in Roscrea,Tipperary.

Liffey Mills had some challenging problems and turned to Webster Griffin for a tailor-made solution.   The ‘state of the art’ installation is for palletizing 25kg bags of their “Milk Master” and “Beef Nuts” at speeds of 1200 bags/hour.

Problems best solved by a robot palletizer

  • There was limited space available so a conventional palletizer was simply too large.
  • Liffey palletize at speeds of up to 1200 bags/hour therefore, a simple low cost ‘pick ‘n’ place’ palletizer could not be considered – for example when operating at 1200 bags/hour the robot is picking up, palletizing and returning to the pick-up position in 3 seconds, changeover of the loaded pallet with the next empty pallet must be completed in under 5 seconds. 
  • Liffey needed to palletize onto a large 4’ x 5’ (1200 x 1500) agricultural pallet, therefore an articulated robot with extensive reach was essential.

Okura the robot born to palletize

The Okura robot was primerily designed and developed for palletizing – unlike other industrial robots it has not been ‘adapted’ to stack bags onto pallets.

  Large Pallets are no Problem for the Okura A1600
  Larger pallets are no problem

The Okura control software is self-optimising – ensuring speed and accuracy are maintained.

It is able to handle different bag or pallet sizes – new palletizing programmes can be prepared, evaluated and downloaded to the robot from a lap top PC. It provides ‘precision palletizing’ resulting in neat, square palletized loads, it has fewer moving parts and is less expensive to maintain than a conventional palletizer.

Flexibility – the Okura robot is not dedicated to palletizing one type of unit load; in the future Liffey Mills can use their Okura to palletize bins, boxes, buckets or even blocks.

Self Adjusting Pallet Wrapper

  Fully Automatic Pallet Wrapper
  Fully integrated pallet wrapper

So that bagged product can be packed and despatched immediately to the farm or merchant, the robot was combined with an automatic pallet wrapping line.

To ensure stability during transit loaded pallets are stretch wrapped by the Unitech 300 which can also receive random pallets from other packing lines as well as the robot palletiser. On arrival the pallet height is checked and an appropriate wrapping programme is selected.


A Double first for Webster Griffin

This is Liffey Mill’s first robot and the first Okura palletizing bags in Ireland. Before making their selection Liffey Mills carried out a technical evaluation of European robot integrators and palletizer manufacturers choosing Webster Griffin after visiting several reference sites with them.

The attraction of robot palletizing can be summed up in a few words by Mark Wilson, MD, of Webster Griffin.

“Our new Okura A1600 robot is a low cost alternative to conventional palletizers that provides the flexibility and durability to cope with anything an industrial environment can throw at it. With the application of Webster Griffin expertise, an Okura robot is an attractive proposition  to anybody who palletizes products in their factory”.

CD available on request

Layout drawing of system:



Project Specification

Application: High speed bag palletizing and pallet wrapping system
Client: Liffey Mills, Roscrea, Ireland
Product Packed: Horse and cattle feed
Bag Type: 20 + 25kg plastic bags (pillow)
Palletising Speed: 1200 bags/hour
System Comprising: Bag flattener
Okura A1600 robot
Pallet magazine & conveyors
Rotating arm pallet stretch wrapper
Guarding and control system
Why did Liffey choose WG?                    


Limited space available therefore client required solution with small foot print - Webster Griffin could deliver compact Turn-key installation and had track record of supplying similar systems.

Flexibility of Okura Robot means that Liffey Mills can easily adapt installation to palletize smaller bags and other products in the future.