For many years, TopTeam has supplied mechanical constructions to the food industry. For this reason, we were contacted by a Danish food producer who wanted to automate part of their production line.
More and more food productions are automating parts of their production lines, as increased productivity and less strain on employees can be achieved. Often it is a matter of automating physically demanding aspects of the production apparatus, so that the employees can avoid unnecessary loads, and thus achieve better job satisfaction.
In the past an employee had to be used to manually lift the products from a tray on the conveyor belt, into a washing system that handles the hygiene of the food, and back to a tray on the conveyor belt on the other side of the washing system.
This was both a slow process and an unnecessary burden on the employee, which is why TopTeam’s consultant was given the task of finding a solution.
When it comes to mechanical constructions to be used for food handling, an additional challenge arises in developing a solution that prevents against the spread of bacteria and cross-contamination.
The solution involved designing a mechanical construction that could free the employee from the many manual lifts, which was done through two automated robotic systems that were placed on each side of the washing system used to handle the hygiene of the food.
The robot system on one side now picks up the product from the tray, puts it on the conveyor belt that drives the product through the washing system, where it is picked up by the other robot system and transferred to a new tray.
At the same time, the washing system had a built-in automatic system for CIP cleaning of a vacuum system inside the washing system. The cleaning of the system is now done automatically when the machine is inactive, which has also freed up time for the employees.
The entire total solution has thus increased the capacity of the production by up to 50%, while the employee avoids unnecessary lifts, and thereby has also been freed up to be able to solve other tasks in the production.
"It is always extra challenging to develop mechanical constructions for the food industry, as the regulations are very strict. However, we found a good solution that not only meets all requirements, but has also increased the capacity of production."
Michael Fly Poulsen