Project at Heemskerk: case packers for salad bowls

Running oval, square and hexagonal bowls on one production line

"Successful case packing with a proven standard"

Fruit and vegetable processor Heemskerk fresh & easy sees that the demand for health and convenience continues to increase. The family business, which has been active since 1960, responds smartly to this by continuously innovating with new products and concepts. Among other things by producing meal salads, fruit salads and meal and soup packages. Heemskerk called in Lan Handling Technologies to pack these trays in boxes and crates. Peter van Kampen, manager Projects & Innovations at Heemskerk: “Lan has a lot of experience with companies that package similar products as Heemskerk. For this they offered a standard robot cell, with a number of Heemskerk specific adjustments on the input side of trays, boxes and crates. The advantage of a standard is that it has already proven itself.”

 

Netherlands, Rijnsburg Salad bowls  Interchangeable gripperProduct patterns

Maintain a healthy workplace

Every week, around 3.5 - 4 million packages are shipped from the Rijnsburg location to large retail and fast food chains at home and abroad.

 

Due to the increased demand in recent years, the pressure on a sufficient workforce is also increasing. Van Kampen: “Ultimately, you look for an optimal balance between good employees in key positions and robotisation where possible to save personnel. It is important that you look at long-term growth, continuity and cost savings. With Lan case packers, we have robots that can be used 24/7, we can process more volume on a smaller footprint and we have more predictable costs per year.”

Heemskerk fresh easy

Our solution - how does it work?

At Heemskerk we were dealing with various forms of salad bowls that were fed into the robot cell at a speed of 50 per minute.

 

A flexible industrial robot is the center of our case packer, the robot arm picks up the trays with a vacuum gripper and then accurately places them in cardboard boxes or crates. Lan also supplied the system for stacking and destacking crates and boxes, this is done before the packaging enters the robot cell.

Heemskerk automatisering

Some challenges we faced when designing this line:

  • Suitable for diversity of trays
    Heemskerk wanted to be able to run 3 types of products (ovals, squares and hexagonal salad bowls) over the line. The most optimal gripper depends on the type of product, the corresponding product pattern and the secondary packaging in which the bowl is loaded: a crate or a box. Lan has therefore developed a user-friendly gripper change system for 3 different grippers. An operator can make such a switch within one minute using the HMI.
  • Ready to increase capacity
    The robot cell is built in such a way that Heemskerk can later increase the capacity by having a servo pusher built in. The capacity can thus be increased from 50 scales to 70 to 80 scales per minute for certain patterns.
  • Product placement in a customer-specific box
    The salads are packed in a recognizable Heemskerk box. The cardboard boxes are 1/3 of a standard size and have overhanging edges, which requires very accurate placement.

Heemskerk automatisering

Peter van Kampen, manager Projets & Innovations at Heemskerk:

“We have been orientating ourselves in the market for a longer period of time looking for a party that could offer a good solution for the case packing of our type of bowls. Glad we found Lan Handling. Lan Handling has proven to be a professional party with broad knowledge and expertise in End-of-Line automation. The project team was professional and knowledgeable and able to provide solutions to specific challenges within this project. The installation and commissioning was well prepared and as a result the downtime during installation of this production line was limited. The project was delivered with all necessary documentation and data, here various parties can take an example, the latter is certainly sometimes a shortcoming in the delivery of a project.”

Heemskerk about Lan
"Lan Handling has proven to be a professional party. Installation and commissioning were well prepared and therefore downtime during the installation of this production line was limited."
Peter van Kampen, manager Projects & Innovations

Next steps?

“Lan engineers will start working at Heemskerk in June 2020, for the the installation of a second automated production line. This again saves many manual actions. In the meantime, three additonal case packers have been ordered. These will be installed at the end of 2020.”

Heemskerk about Lan
"Lan Handling has proven to be a professional party. Installation and commissioning were well prepared and therefore downtime during the installation of this production line was limited."
Peter van Kampen, manager Projects & Innovations
Heemskerk automatisering

Peter van Kampen, manager Projets & Innovations at Heemskerk:

“We have been orientating ourselves in the market for a longer period of time looking for a party that could offer a good solution for the case packing of our type of bowls. Glad we found Lan Handling. Lan Handling has proven to be a professional party with broad knowledge and expertise in End-of-Line automation. The project team was professional and knowledgeable and able to provide solutions to specific challenges within this project. The installation and commissioning was well prepared and as a result the downtime during installation of this production line was limited. The project was delivered with all necessary documentation and data, here various parties can take an example, the latter is certainly sometimes a shortcoming in the delivery of a project.”

Next steps?

“Lan engineers will start working at Heemskerk in June 2020, for the the installation of a second automated production line. This again saves many manual actions. In the meantime, three additonal case packers have been ordered. These will be installed at the end of 2020.”


Questions? Want to know more? Feel free to call or app

We are happy to make a personal proposal for you. You always get a quick response. Did you know that we also integrate palletising systems, crate de-stackers and crate erectors in turnkey projects.

Mark de Boer - Lan Handling

Mark de Boer

Sales Manager End-of-Line automation