For nearly a century, Madrange has produced high-quality charcuterie and deli meats for sale across France. Operating two shifts a day, five days a week, its Limoges plant produces, packages, and ships several high-value products, including trays of single-slice and single-piece terrine, pâté, and duck mousse.
Until recently, plant workers loaded the trays of charcuterie into shipping cartons by hand. This manual process inherently limited the plant’s throughput capacity. To increase production, the company invested in a series of robot pickers that could fill the cartons automatically and at higher speeds. The success of the robots depends on the trays being both properly aligned and balanced into two rows at robot infeed.
To fully optimize the back end of their line, Madrange needed a tray-handling solution that could provide proper balancing and alignment at high speeds and within a small footprint. Their chosen solution integrated two innovative technologies: an Intralox® Active Integrated Motion™ (AIM™) Switch Series 800 (1:2), and an Intralox Series 2100 ZERO TANGENT™ Radius belt. The AIM Switch gently divides lines while maintaining product integrity and orientation, eliminating the need for non-value-added labor on dual-lane tray-handling applications. The ZERO TANGENT belt ensures proper product orientation while reducing footprint and maximizing floorspace.
Madrange’s Industrial Project Manager, Christophe Verdier, had long been a champion of Intralox’s products and services. When he saw AIM technology in action, he knew it was the right solution for this area. ACEMIA, a preferred, AIM-licensed equipment manufacturer, installed the Intralox solution in June 2017.
The integrated Intralox solution has met all of Madrange’s needs and enabled full optimization of the back end of the line. The AIM Switch provides gentle tray handling, consistent product alignment, and high-speed dual-lane balancing; the ZERO TANGENT belt ensures proper orientation within a small footprint. The solution’s performance has helped the Limoges plant reach its throughput target of 130 trays per minute and 7,800 trays per hour. The company has experienced no product damage, no rework, and no idle capacity of the robots or the line, all while reducing its reliance on manual workers.
Mr. Verdier praised the installation: "The Intralox innovations helped us meet our most pressing technological challenges related to gentle product handling at high speeds. The AIM solution provides the ultimate guarantee for meeting our automatic packaging efficiency goals and reaching 100% productivity."