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Wrigley's upgrade using FlexLink equipment

Supplier: FlexLink Systems
19 June, 2007

The Wrigley Company is one of the world’s largest manufacturers of chewing gum and home to some of the best known brands, including Juicy Fruit, Extra and P.K. As part of a project to makeover their factory in Asquith, NSW, Wrigley’s have installed a FlexLink system to replace manual handling of the product with a fully automated packaging and transportation system.

Updating the factory
Wrigley’s decided to eliminate the majority of manual handling and update the factory with new equipment for a more functional system and smoother process.  They decided to automate their production line process by expanding their existing plant and realigning equipment to increase productivity and provide easy access around the plant thus improving work place safety.  

Wrigley’s initiated a full redevelopment plan of their production facilities, integrating flexible solutions for handling products and ensuring there were opportunities for quick and easy alterations to the design in the future.

“FlexLink offered us a flexible system which was quick to modify, reutilise and quick to change” Ross Hannaford, Engineering manager, The Wrigley Company.  The design needed to be flexible in order to accommodate a wide variety of packages and to maintain stability of larger cartons on high level conveyors.

FlexLink offered a unique solution
FlexLink provided Wrigley’s with a unique solution for integrating their packaging process by incorporating incline, decline and high-level conveyors for products to be packaged and transferred from production floor to warehouse. 

The system consists of a modular design allowing for smooth process flow, as the product is transported through three rooms to the warehouse by overhead conveyors.  The conveyors hung overhead are three meters above floor level allowing for optimum use of floor space. 

One exceptional feature of the installation was the unique solution for the overhead gum conveyors.  These conveyors transported a variety of flavours of gum and there was an initial problem with cross-contamination with differing flavours, and quicker change over times and an easier wash down method were vital. 

“We had problems when we needed to change the product, the cleaning process was time consuming however FlexLink provided us with an innovative solution” Ross Hannaford.

Elimination of manual handling
FlexLink’s solution has helped Wrigley’s to rearrange their factory, making improved use of the whole area and resulting in a fast and effective system that delivers the product ready for either transportation or storage.  The system has helped to make the operation and running of production a lot easier and smoother. 

Prior to the installation each carton would be manually handled at least 3 times; after installing the FlexLink system not only did Wrigley’s reduce running costs, but also the process improved Occupational Health and Safety. 

 “The installation went very well and the service has been excellent” Ross Hannaford.

FlexLink have established a successful partnership with Wrigley’s for future installations and realignment of equipment.  “FlexLink offered us a solution in advance of many other Wrigley’s companies therefore the warehouse is now an icon for other units globally.” Ross Hannaford

“FlexLink provided Wrigley’s with the whole package, from manually handling of the product to incorporating a fully automated system”. Ross Hannaford