WTL Smart Cat -  AUTOMATIC BAGGING LINE

 

 

 

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Client

In 1985 WTL International Ltd became the first UK company to manufacture a softwood pellet for the cat litter market. The company is based in Macclesfield and started to produce this unique wood-based cat litter to capture the growing demand for organic biodegradable cat litters. WTL’s litter is manufactured solely from softwood flour giving it characteristics that allow it to absorb liquids much quicker than other brands. Smart Cat ® is one of the leading brands in the pet and veterinary wholesale market.

Challenge

  • The increasing demand at WTL meant that they needed to find a high speed yet versatile packing system so that they only need to pack for one shift per day, instead of two as they did in the past.
  • The solution needs to have spare capacity in case of extra customer demand and to cater for future growth.
  • Requires efficient operation with quick bag change overs.
  • Flexibility to be able to respond to customer's orders immediately – whatever bag size they require.
  • Able to produce short batches on demand, consequently reducing stock levels of packed product and also saving warehouse space.

 

 

Solution

After a thorough survey of competitors, Webster Griffin were selected on technical merit. We assessed WTL’s production needs, we recommended The installation of the UP-1000 bagging machine and Okura robot provided WTL with the flexibility to pack from 3Kg to 25Kg in either polymer or paper sacks.

  • The UP-1000 is a highly versatile packing machine for 3-25kg bags.
  • The machine is fully self-adjusting and bag size changes can be done at the press of a button when changing from 2-10kg bags and from 10-25kg bags.
  • This quick auto changeover facility means that it is profitable for you to produce small batches which are packed into whatever size of bag your clients request.
  • It will handle plastic, paper, non gusseted or gusseted bags, self sealing barrier film bags, bags with handles, bags without handles.
  • The UP-1000 is built to food industry standards and it is easy and quick to clean down between different products and flavours.
  • The UP-1000 is suitable for packing dry and damp pet foods, feed supplements and cat litter.
  • Apart from being versatile the UP-1000 is also fast, often replacing two conventional bagging lines – saving capital costs and halving manning levels.
  • Another plus of the UP-1000 is that it can fill foil laminated barrier bags – dramatically increasing the shelf life of preservative free food mixes and ingredients.
  • The UP-1000 is combined with an Okura robot palletiser or palletising machine which overlaps ‘wedge’ shaped bags for stability and better in-store presentation.
  • One Okura 1500 robot palletiser, equipped with a self-adjusting pick up hand that can palletise 32 different bag sizes using its palletising programmes.

 

 

Result

Following Factory Acceptance Testing (FAT) at Webster Griffin’s headquarters, the system has been installed in Macclesfield, Cheshire. The solution offered the following benefits.

  • WTL now pack approximately 800 units per hour reducing their unit price and therefore enabling them to target a larger market with more competitive prices.
  • System provides continuous high speed bagging facility so they only need to pack for 1 shift per day – instead of two as they did in the past.
  • Efficient operation – auto bag size changeover means there is no lost production and ‘down-time’ between changeovers.
  • WTL are now able to respond to customers orders immediately – whatever bag size they require.
  • This increase in capacity has now placed WTL at the top of the list of UK suppliers of Wood Based Cat Litter.
  • The flexibility of the UP-1000 allowing WTL to pack 3-25Kg in polymer or paper sacks and the associated reduction in manufacturing cost has allowed WTL to win contracts to supply own label products to the supermarket, pet wholesale and pet superstore markets.
  • The Okura 1500 Robot Palletiser has reduced manning level to one operator per shift.
  • Removed a strenuous job – and any problems of repetitive strain injury.

 

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