Cobot Lift Helps Food Industry Solve Back Injuries and enable industrial automation with a camera guided depalletizing solution

Puratos is a multinational company that offers products for bakeries, patisserie, and chocolate sectors. 

The Challenges 

Back injuries in the workplace cause one in five illnesses, and manual handling tasks are responsible for 80 percent of them, says the Bureau of Labor Statistics. 

Puratos group decided to automate their production with Cobot Lift to protect their operators’ health. 

“Our main reason is to maintain the health of our operators in production,” says Ralf Veteran, Puratos Operations Manager.  

In October 2020, Cobot Lift was invited to do a robotics demonstration at Puratos in Wels, Austria. Although it was clear the group was ready to automate its production, our challenge was to fit in the tight production area and deliver a solution that could lift many sacks at a reasonable speed. 

The Solution 

The Cobot Lift Stationary version was a clear choice for Puratos. The flexibility of positioning the robot and optimization of free space were the mean points considered when comparing our solutions for the company. The Cobot Lift stationary was placed next to the product mixer to pick and place activities for different types of sacks. The test went successfully, giving the customer an option of having four picks per minute. Our camera feature was included to optimize the precision of depalletizing sacks to identify pickup positions on the sacks and inform the cobot where to grab the bags precisely.  

The most important for Puratos was that the operators could work close to the robotic system, which was necessary regarding safety concerns. 

“To combine a vacuum lifter with a robot which allows the cobot to work closer in the workspace from our employees is really a great invention “Mark Grillitsch – Team Leader. 

Picture from Cobot Lift private archive.

The Benefit 

Employees of Puratos now can take control of their safety and are free from the heavy lifting of sacks up to 45kg . They can expect a better healthy work environment and extension of working life as Cobot Lift now does repetitive and hazardous work. For Puratos, issues such as low productive and repetitive work are solved.  

“For me as team leader, it is important to have healthy staff, healthy employees and cobot will be the solution for that, that means employees without the back pain” Mark Grillitsch – Team Leader. 

About Puratos 

Founded in 1919, the company headquarters remain in Brussels ( Belgium). Puratos is a large international company with 9.000 employees worldwide and serving customers in 100 countries. Puratos customize it is products to each region where they are located, considering current trends. The group has production plants in 63 countries and 71 subsidiaries

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