DARB Sorter Works with Robots to Increase Costa Group’s Capacity
The results at this stage are impressive, without a single issue. The robotic palletizing system incorporating Intralox’s DARB Sorter has performed above expectations, and with the support provided so far I can thoroughly recommend this solution.Mark Sanders, Costa Group Maintenance Manager
Australia’s leading grower, packer, and marketer of fresh fruit and vegetables, Costa Group moves large quantities of produce from its 3500 hectares (8648 acres) of farmland to markets around the world. Its facility in Renmark, South Australia, focuses primarily on citrus and packs an average of 40,000 tonnes (44,092 tons) of fruit per season (the equivalent of over 1 million boxes). As volumes increased over the years, Costa Group realized its manual palletizing of boxes would not be able to keep up with demand.
Costa Group–Renmark invested in three advanced robots to replace manual palletizing, and an Intralox® DARB™ Sorter to feed boxes to the robots. Based on Intralox’s groundbreaking, patented Activated Roller Belt™ (ARB™) technology, DARB Sorters deliver gentle, touchless sorting in a limited footprint. Boxes are selectively sorted to the robots using simple controls. The system’s limited moving parts mean less maintenance and downtime, greater worker safety, and higher reliability compared to pusher arms and pop-up or skate wheel sorters. DARB technology also allows for greater flexibility in accommodating new box sizes, making it future ready.
Costa Group–Renmark installed the DARB system into the line in September 2019, and it has been running flawlessly since then. The robotic palletizing system incorporating the DARB Sorter has empowered the facility to accommodate significant extra volume and reassign eight labor positions.