In-house production at VC Petfood’s facility in Föhren initially focused on producing snacks, treats and dry pet food.
When the demand for wet pet food increased, VC Petfood decided to bring the production of their Vet Concept can line in-house. A completely new production hall has been built for this.
The challenge was to install a fully automated line with a maximum of 700 products per minute, that offered sufficient flexibility in view of the number of different can sizes (100g, 200g, 400g and 800g) and future expansions.
We had the ambition to build a state-of-the-art production facility.
That is why the solution of Lan Handling Technologies focused on the following points:
Maximum flexibility To be able to run different product sizes (heights and diameters) over one can handling line, a pattern former is used when loading the baskets. Changes can be made within 1 minute. Above all, a future-oriented look was needed. That is why a sliding system was chosen for loading the baskets. VC Petfood can therefore also use non-magnetic cans in the future. Furthermore, the factory lay-out has been set up in such a way that it is possible to add retorts in the future, within the current capacity of the Lan line.
Automated retort loading The shuttle with tongue ensures a fast and efficient loading of the retorts because the entire batch can be loaded as one. This way, the loss of residual heat is minimal. The Lan shuttle is programmed in such a clever way, that the most efficient route to and from the retorts is always chosen. For example, giving priority over the products that need to be sterilised.
Optimal efficiency We integrated a de-watering unit (tilting up to 80° degrees) before the unloader, to increase the reliability of the subsequent packaging process. Efficient labeling and packaging benefit from a dry product. Efficiency is also reflected at the integration of a buffer section and storage conveyor, to provide adaptability of the handling system to absorb any failures (up- or downstream).
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