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Fromm custom installs automatic strapping system for packaging line

Supplier: Fromm Packaging Australia
16 December, 2015

Fromm Packaging Australia design, manufacture and install custom packaging solutions for a number of a businesses around Australia.

We leverage the global experience of the Fromm brand to ensure we continue to provide the world’s best packaging systems built to suit your individual packaging needs.This recent installation is an automatic strapping system built for a medium-density fibreboard distribution centre.

This customer distributes high quantities of fibreboard to a number of remote centres around Australia, as well as customer specific orders which can vary in size & shape.

Our customer had a number of specific requirements for their packaging line, such as early morning and late afternoon peaks in activity. They needed a solution that could handle intense peaks in workload efficiently.

We designed this strapping system to handle mixed loads, utilising automatic sensors, eliminating the need for manual setting changes when strapping mixed packs. Mixed orders, once picked, are consolidated and then put onto the strapping station for processing. The system will then automatically sense the size of the pack, place bearers & strap the pack, unassisted, in less than 2 minutes.

Three packs can be on the line at any given time with two forklift drivers, one at each end, loading & unloading as another pack is being strapped for peak efficiency. With a reliable, automatic system such as this, forklift operators are free to focus on other tasks, saving time & increasing efficiency dramatically.

With peak automation in mind, we installed a robotic arm which automatically places bearers, eliminating the need for an employee to do this task. The robotic arm picks a bearer and places it into a special channel so the bearer is fixed underneath the pack. Traditionally this was a manual function which required up to 500,000 human movements per year to pick up and place the bearer. This risk of human error & employee injury has been eliminated by the robotic arm.

As with any automatic packaging system, safety is of utmost importance. This particular installation features 4x category 3 safety cells designed to reduce nuisance trips and maximise safety for employees. We also account for up-keep and risk of damage to the machine; we included a self-cleaning suction pad on the bearer lifter & an upstroke, designed to make forklift access easier whilst also protecting the conveyor chains. Our goal is always to create a system that works year round with minimal maintenance or downtime.

This installation was designed by the Fromm Packaging Australia team. The designs were then sent to Fromm's global manufacturing centre where the machine was built and tested to meet Fromm’s strict quality assurance standards. Once shipped to Australia, the installation process was completed & working within 3 weeks.

A project such as this can be installed and commissioned for under $500,000, plus GST. The costs of these installs are almost always justified when considering the personnel and process improvements it can have on a distribution centre.