Mondelez International’s Cadbury chocolates plant in Claremont, Tasmania, Australia, has been in operation since 1922 and is one of Cadbury’s two flagship production facilities in Australia. The plant operates 24/7 to produce over 50,000 tons of chocolate annually.
Having set out in recent years to improve the productivity and efficiency of their manufacturing processes, engineers at the Claremont plant turned their attention to the palletizer area, which contained a chain-driven pop-up system with outmoded robot pickers.
On the whole, the system was not reliable or fast enough to meet the plant’s growing needs. The system’s many moving parts presented safety hazards and were arranged in a way that prevented workers from accessing some machines.
When it came time to upgrade the palletizer area, plant officials decided to install two new palletizer robots and a DARB Sorter S400 (with four sort zones) from Intralox. The DARB Sorter S400 is one of the many equipment pieces available as part of Intralox’s Activated Roller Belt™ (ARB™) Technology line.
Mondelez officials had many reasons for choosing the DARB Sorter over other technologies. Engineers at the Claremont plant view ARB Technology as key to their plant-wide improvement initiative and had already undertaken several ARB installations throughout the facility. In addition, Intralox personnel utilized Intralox’s 3-D Simulation Services to preview the results and prove the viability of the DARB Sorter solution. Adhering to Mondelez’s philosophy of “first time right,” the plant’s engineers ultimately found that the DARB Sorter S400 was the only suitable solution for the palletizer area.
The new DARB Sorter S400 has helped the plant overcome or eliminate the previous challenges of the palletizer area. With the new system, the plant has reduced downtime and maintenance; increased efficiency, speed, and potential throughput; and eliminated the safety hazards and accessibility issues associated with the previous equipment.
The plant’s maintenance staff has been especially pleased by the ARB solution. Though they had concerns that the ARB Technology might present complications, they have been surprised by how simple the DARB Sorter S400 is to operate.