Background and Challenge
The Procordia facility in Kumla, Sweden, packages fruit and berry products into Tetra Brik cartons for immediate shipping. At the packaging end of the fruit-juice filling line, cases coming from a case packer were lifted by an elevator to the palletizer infeed. Though the plant’s production targets had increased, the elevator’s limited capacity impeded throughput. Frequent bottlenecking near the elevator led to hourly line stops of the conveyors and filling machine, resulting in product waste and incorrectly filled cartons. In addition, cases often accumulated along a series of elevated roller conveyors, leading to damage from rough handling.
Intralox Activated Roller Belt™ (ARB) technology optimized the Kumla facility’s layout and available space. An L-shaped radius conveyor was replaced by a straight Intralox ARB 90-Degree Transfer On and Off unit of equipment, which increased case-handling capacity while requiring less floor space. This made possible the installation of an incline conveyor to replace the elevator, which eliminated bottlenecking issues, increased throughput, established continuous case flow, and improved operator health and safety by removing the risks associated with the moving parts of an elevator.
Along the elevated pathway, a standard roller conveyor was replaced with an Intralox Series 1000 Insert Roller equipped conveyor, providing for gentler case handling. An Intralox ARB 90-Degree Transfer Off unit of equipment replaced the pop-up transfer, helping the plant conform to more stringent health and safety standards. The new, optimized layout made a case turner unnecessary, as cases maintain the correct orientation upon reaching the palletizer infeed.
The new layout, made possible by Intralox ARB technology, optimized the performance of the packaging line. The new layout has netted the Kumla plant an eight percent increase in filler efficiency while lowering line product waste by fifty percent, resulting in the production of an additional 8,500 Tetra Brik cartons per day. Procordia will earn a return on their investment within one year.