“We wanted to reduce delivery times on consignments of steel plates delivered on standard pallets. We hoped to be able to deliver these as quickly as we deliver sheets on joists or blocks, and this investment means we’ve achieved that,” says Ole Jensen, Key Account Manager at Ib Andresen Industri’s Steel Service Centre. He adds:
“This investment eliminates the bottleneck in our old set-up, so customers no longer have to consider which shipment method is fastest. This gives customers a more consistent experience.”
Customers should, however, still expect a slightly longer delivery time for fixed-dimension pallets. The process for delivering consignments on joists and blocks was automated many years ago.
A whole week
Jesper Buhl, an engineer in the Production Engineering Department, has been involved in the robot project from start to finish and is pleased with the new investment. “The palletising robot has speeded up delivery times by a whole week! The manual processes that followed on after cutting the sheets have now been automated and integrated into the cutting line. It’s good news for customers and improves ergonomics in the working environment.” He explains:
“Previously, consignments were removed from the line and placed in storage, awaiting what was then the manual palletisation process, which was a bit of a bottleneck and often added an extra week to delivery times. Now, the robot brings standard pallets into the packaging process and attaches them to the sheet consignment while everything is still on the conveyor belt of the cutting line.”
Together with the palletising robot, the Steel Service Centre in Vejle has also implemented an automated edge applicator. As with palletising, the mounting of edges used to be an additional process.
The entire project has been made possible thanks to strong employee commitment; Smajo, for example, one of the line operators, is pleased with the robot cell and the increased automation.
In the ten months the robot cell has been in operation, it has handled just under 7,000 pallets. Bearing in mind that approximately 85% of all pallets consignments use standard pallets, the volume of palletisations will continue to be very high, going forward.
This investment is in line with the strategy of increased automation and improving the working environment at Ib Andresen Industri.
Photo: Smajo Babovic (left), Jesper Buhl and Ole Jensen (right).