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AUTOMATED MATERIAL HANDLING SYSTEMS ASSOCIATION

Case History
Automated Conveyor, Sortation and Palletising System
Huge benefits are now being realised by a major carton packaging manufacturing plant, following
installation of a new fully automated conveyor, sortation and palletising system by an AMHSA
member.
Despite fierce competition, our member was chosen by the award winning packaging company to
project manage the entire 600,000 installation, and it is firmly believed that the investment will pay for
itself within three years.
Whereas all cartons were once labelled, wrapped, palletised, then offloaded entirely by manual
means, the operation is now fully computer controlled, involving 50% less labour and is capable of
handling up to 800 boxes per hour.
All output is automatically bar code labelled and transferred via an incline powered belt conveyor to a
space saving mezzanine level. Here product is systematically sorted, through use of a bar code
scanner, into one of eight lanes of an accumulating powered roller conveyor network.
Boxes are then routed, by means of a curved conveyor bend, down a straight powered roller section
onto a belt and roller decline conveyor. This feeds them directly to the palletising station at ground level.
An over ride facility exists allowing cartons to bypass the automated system, in order to be palletised
manually, should the need ever arise.
For added flexibility they introduced a multi-position palletiser that enables eight pallets to be loaded
almost simultaneously. When a single pallet becomes full, it is ejected onto a powered turntable,
allowing another empty pallet to be automatically fed into position. The full pallet is then fed down a
conveyor to the stretchwrapping, banding and auto-labelling stations.
Safety is a major consideration for AMHSA members. Finished pallets pass through a fire door en
route to the despatch bay, where an inductive loop has been installed in the floor to ensure that the
section of the conveyor here is at a standstill during any forklift unloading procedure. Control panels at
both upper and lower levels provide a complete overview of the operating status of the entire system,
and management have the capability to override the system at any time.
Installed at nights and weekends to minimise disruption, the new system is already proving beneficial.
Our member was very proactive throughout the design and implementation stages in helping to
resolve the handling problems, this has meant that client is already on the way to realising the efficiency
and productivity gains required to maintain its competitiveness within the marketplace.
TEL +44 (0)116 2598518 FAX +44 (0)870 787 7439 e-mail secretary@amhsa.co.uk