In addition to lowering labour costs, End of line packaging automation egg grading and packaging decreases stress on egg packing plant personnel by taking over some of the most repetitive and heavy lifting tasks that occur on the production line.
According to Morten Friis, R & D technical manager at Sanovo Technology Group, the primary driver behind the technology is cost savings, particularly in terms of labour. However, installing automated and robotic logistic systems can also improve employee welfare by allowing them to move away from end-of-line jobs that may have required them to sit or stand in the same position for several hours, if not the entire day End of line packaging automation.
“Also, robotic automation is about more than just reducing labour requirements. Increasing biosecurity, product quality, and yield are all priorities for the organisation. Our technologies, which enable traceability as well as speed and homogeneity, meet these requirements.”
Waste has been reduced
Waste should be reduced as a result of the increased ‘uniformity’ of the product produced by automated packaging lines – fewer rejected packages should be generated as a result of palletising, de-palletising, case packing, or case palletising operations. In Friis’s opinion, robotic technology is appropriate for repetitive tasks, particularly in areas that require regularity, such as grain grading, weighing, and packing.
“At the conclusion of each workday, we can segregate eggs by size, colour, weight, and quality — and we can analyse the inside of each egg for any impurities,” says the researcher.
And it’s all completed in a short amount of time. The company’s egg palletiser, an anthropomorphic robot, operates at a rate of 144,000 eggs per hour, using plastic trays, pulp trays, or a combination of the two to keep the various products distinct.
The machine is capable of handling plastic or carton interlayers, as well as plastic or wooden pallets, depending on the most frequent dimension requirements. Additionally, it will be able to accommodate four stacks at the same time, thanks to a unique head fork system that can accommodate both pulp and plastic trays.
Additionally, a de-palletiser with a capacity of up to 600cph is accessible at the organisation (216,000 eggs per hour). Its head is also capable of handling interlayers as well as pallets of various sizes.
According to Friis, the End of line packaging automation process that takes place after the grader lanes has become increasingly crucial in recent years. A fast rate of production is required, as is exceptional precision.
Solution that is adaptable
Flexibility is critical for egg packing companies, regardless of the regulations they must meet or exceed. “There is a great deal of variety in this industry, with hundreds of different types of egg cartons and packaging possibilities to choose from.” “Even the outside situations are different,” Friis continues.
Working closely with customers throughout the manufacturing process is crucial to satisfying their requirements. ‘We’re a critical link in the supply chain, and we have the skills and technology to support our clients in providing the goods and services that the market demands.’
Packaging has a number of ‘limitations.’
According to Friis, “we also aid them in being practical and saying no’ when expensive packaging is provided.” Even when it comes to packaging and shipping, it is common for those who design the products to be unaware of the regulations. In some cases, installing or altering equipment to accommodate changing packaging can be prohibitively expensive, particularly for short runs.
Labor savings are realised
The Scottish Borders-based free-range egg producer MacLean Eggs has installed automated packing and stacking equipment in two 32,000-bird barns over the course of the last 18 months. Angela MacLean, the proprietor, is pleased with the outcomes that have been achieved so far.
According to her, “the labour we have would be better spent looking after the chickens and grading the eggs rather than on a repetitive end-of-line chore that is both physically and time intensive.” It is becoming increasingly difficult for small businesses to find dependable and experienced personnel. And I believe that our hardworking employees deserve to be protected and cared for in the best possible way.
Some may say that robots are eliminating job opportunities, but organisations like mine must remain competitive and efficient in order to retain these positions into the future.
A Prinzen Smartpack, which can pack up to 30,000 eggs per hour, as well as a PS4 tray stacker and an end-of-line egg palletising robot from Newtown, New South Wales-based RM Group, are installed in each shed.
A refurbished IRB6400 robot (of the type frequently used in the automotive industry) is the best end-of-line solution for any egg processing business, according to firm sales director Edward Pugh. ‘It can palletize four pallets every hour, which is more than 570 eggs per minute.’ The technology enables egg producers to simply process and palletize their eggs at a rate that has a substantial influence on their daily output rate, while also improving accuracy and grading efficiency.
In this case, an ABB palletising robot with a specialised gripper head intended to pick and position the egg trays and separation sheets is used to construct the device. To scoop up the egg trays, the robot makes use of existing shapes in the plastic egg trays, and strategically positioned sensors ensure that the trays are clear of the forks before the robot retracts fully. This reduces the possibility of any broken parts occurring in the process.
The robots have now been installed in 40 egg packing factories around the United Kingdom, with more on the way. “The smallest shed size required for economic sustainability is 32,000 birds,” says the author. According to Pugh, if the cost is lower than that, “it is just not worth the money because it will not be working as hard as it should, and hand palletizing is more cost effective.”
She goes on to state that the payback period for each of the automated palletising units is expected to be three flocks. Employee time is freed up as a result of the rebuilt robotic system, which cost approximately £45,000, and may be employed more productively in the poultry sheds, on flock welfare and husbandry, or on more skilled duties in the packing factory.
What is the most recent development in the realm of egg packaging?
When you buy eggs at Waitrose, you will now receive them in egg boxes made of rye grass and recycled paper.
Eggs in the Duchy range have been protected since the packaging was introduced in 2015. Also starting in March, more Waitrose eggs will be packaged in the environmentally friendly alternative, with an additional eight products to follow in the coming months. The new cartons will be used to package British Blacktail eggs, which are now only accessible at Waitrose and other select retailers.
When compared to a traditional pulp egg box, the packaging delivers the same level of protection while using 60 percent less water during production, emitting 20 percent less CO2, and consuming 20 percent less electricity.
The Waitrose head of responsible sourcing and sustainability, Tor Harris, describes the move as “a great step toward improving the sustainability of our packaging and benefiting the environment.”
“Our commitment to make all of our own-label packaging typically recyclable, reusable, or biodegradable by 2025 is reinforced by these innovative packs.”
Egg box design is a piece of cake in comparison
Egg boxes that may be used as building blocks for imaginative play have been introduced by DAVA Foods Packaging, a Danish packaging producer.
According to the company, the eggyplay box is an excellent example of the type of product for which DAVA Foods Packaging can ‘give additional lift and momentum in the marketplace.’ It’s a patented egg box design composed of brilliantly coloured plastic that has been injected into the mould. It can be used as a toy as well as a container for storing and protecting eggs, says the author. It is possible to use the boxes as toy building blocks since they interlock, explains Jacco Wagelaar, a representative of the company industradgroup.
“Clients can pick up boxes, wash them in the dishwasher at 65 degrees Celsius, and let their imaginations run wild,” says the retailer. It is possible that the boxes will give hours of enjoyment, recreation, and education.”
The box is made of polypropylene (PP05), which allows it to be recycled after use. “It also weighs less than a standard egg box and takes up half the space when open and stacked,” Wagelaar explains. “As a result, the design makes transportation easier and more fuel-efficient.”