Find out how ATS helped Fox’s biscuits to reduce manufacturing cost by 30% and drive automation

Purpose

  • This biscuit manufacturer had already started its digital transformation journey with automation at several points of the production process. However, machines age and they wanted to upgrade their legacy motion systems while also identifying further locations that would benefit from automation. That’s when they approached ATS.
  • We designed and implemented the robotic packaging solution and provided training and on-site support.

Project Scope

Fox’s biscuits wanted to upgrade their legacy and obsolete equipment and packaging technology for a long time but had delayed due to a number of roadblocks that ATS needed to overcome:

  • Lack of in-house expertise.
  • Production downtime associated with upgrades.
  • Risk of losing accuracy in controls and motion.
  • Cost of direct replacement.
  • Lack of documentation and software back-up.
  • Over-dependence on vendors for proprietary systems.

Solution Approach

  • Designed and implemented the robotic packaging solution and also provided training for operators and engineers as well as providing an ongoing on-site support package. The robotic packaging solution involved the following key items:
    • Project risk assessments, design and development of a full functional robotics and automation solution with safety features.
    • Design of and implementation of individual cells with integrated Safe Torque Off (STO) safety by ATS’ in-house TuV safety engineers.
    • Upgrade legacy equipment and technology in the packaging section.
    • Automate the manual pick and place operations.

Systems & Tools

  • 3 Kawasaki 6-axis robots with payloads of 100 kg and 3 second cycle time.
  • Turnkey automation solution comprised of 8 Rockwell PLCs, 6 Pilz Safety PLCs, 10 HMIs and 44 servo motors.

The Results

Raised productivity due to centralised planning.

Improved yield by approximately 8%.

Forecasting accuracy increased by 20%.

Transparency at all levels of the harvesting process.

Reduced product waste by approximately 30-40%.

Eliminated late payments to farmers.

Reduced operational expenses by at least 15-20% through automation.

Complete product traceability.

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