Palletisation of reusable packaging for the food market: innovation and green deal
Clevertech has recently signed an agreement for a palletisation system for the food market in Australia. The customer is one of the main food producers in Australia and New Zealand.
The company’s founder, who has Italian ancestry, came up with the idea for the company over thirty years ago. It now has a workforce of 300 employees.
The company markets a wide variety of products including peanuts, fruit, rice and spices, with a particular focus on market demand for specific packaging to meet every individual requirement, and which must be increasingly green. This leads to the requirement to manage palletisation of up to 25 products on each production line, over eight different lines, with a very wide range of cartons to be moved, from small cartons of single-portion packages to very large cartons of family-sized packages.
This leads to the requirement to manage palletisation of up to 25 products on each production line, over eight different lines, with a very wide range of cartons to be moved, from small cartons of single-portion packages to very large cartons of family-sized packages.
Reusable transit packaging, a leap into the future
The project is particularly innovative, because it allows palletisation of reusable plastic crates containing finished products. The requirement for reusable transit packaging is an interest expressed by companies who wish to establish a circular economy in accordance with the European Green Deal. Indeed, in 2020 the global packaging market reached 950 billion US dollars, of which 200 billion was represented by transit packaging.
According to the State of Reusable Packaging Industry report by the Reusable Packaging Association, 66% of interviewees were requesting reusable transit packaging more than they had twelve months previously. A large majority (85%) of the interviewees were expecting this kind of innovation in the future.
For the crates handling project, Clevertech analysed a sample in order to carry out technical tests with a robot and pick-up head in plants in Italy.
The crates are managed by a crates stacker and a specific, dedicated pick-up head.
The palletisation project for the food market: complexity and flexibility in management of a wide range of different formats
Clevertech’s proposal met with the approval of the customer due to the remarkable flexibility of the system, which can manage both cartons and plastic crates in a single palletisation area.
The centralised palletisation system for the food market is able to manage products from eight production lines thanks to six robots with specific pick-up heads allowing them to manage small, medium-sized and large packages, as well as stackable and recyclable plastic crates.
There are two empty pallet stores which can manage two types of pallet. A shuttle resupplies the palletisation area with empty pallets and takes the completed pallets to the wrapping area. Here, the PF60 wrapper film wraps the pallet, which is then labelled before being picked up by the AGVs.
The entire system was produced in accordance with Clevertech’s complete integration philosophy.