Minerals - Palletising System
LKAB is a Swedish high-tech mining and mineral group that mines and processes local iron ore for sale to its subsantial European market and beyond. When faced with growing demands for their high grade Calcium Carbonate “Ultracarb” product, LKAB contracted Webster Griffin to install a high speed robot palletizing system which would give them precision palletizing and double their productivity. https://www.lkab.com/en/
Whilst LKAB had processes in place to keep pace with increased sales volumes, there was a holdup at the end of the packing line. LKAB wanted to clear the bottleneck and put forward some benefits they hoped to see as a result.
- LKAB required a palletizer to perform the labour-intensive task of stacking 25kg multi-ply paper valve sacks into compact, well formed pallets, 24 hours per day
- LKAB also had limited factory space so required a very compact solution
- LKAB aimed to reduce the manual labour required at the end of the packing line
- It was hoped that this outcome would double productivity levels
- Ensure neat & square pallets suitable for transportation
Having taken on board LKAB’s requirements and evaluated several robots, Webster Griffin proposed an Okura A400 series III robot palletiser capable of stacking the bagged high grade calcium carbonate product at 350-400 bags per hour.
The solution, meeting their exact requirements consisted of:
- Okura A400 Series III palletizing robot with OXPA ‘Easy Teach’ programming
- OXPA Windows based software which allows operators to create new palletizing patterns and optimise existing ones
- Two floor mounted pallet guides with sensors to position the pallets on the floor while they are stacked
- A main control panel for the above equipment interfaced with the robot panel
- Interconnecting conveyors with existing sack filling machine
- Long sack flattener which squeezes the bags into a tight, firm block
- High-tech Okura bag hand – picks up flattened bags and places them precisely on pallet
- The solution is simple, compact and cost effective.
The Webster Griffin system is up and running. The system presented LKAB with the following benefits:
- Increased productivity around the clock, with 24 hour-a-day palletising at a throughput of 350 – 400 bags an hour
- A reduction in manual labour required – labour has been freed up for other tasks in the factory
- The limited factory space has been efficiently utilised through the neat packing arc of the Okura A400
The site works manager, was “impressed” by the reliability and flexibility of the system which has dramatically improved efficiency in the slowest point of their process.
The LKAB production manager quickly came to terms with the OXPA “Easy Teach” programming software. After training from Webster Griffin he found the Windows based software very easy to use.