Pick and Packaging of Potatoes in IFCO Crate

Packaging potatoes 1Intek facilitated the automation of northern Europe’s largest potato packing center with a capacity of about 30,000 tons per year. Production is seasonal and this poses a great challenges for the plant. Capacity will vary through seasonality. The plant runs on two shifts and maintains a “just in time” production rate of 50%. Booking in the morning is delivered the same afternoon.

The challenge was to create a system of logistics for automatic handling of each potato after it was wrapped in a plastic or paper bag. Our task was to pick certain bags after checking their weight in hand and on a standard Euro pallet. Meanwhile, traceability, labeling, and data flow remains an important part of the task. The entire system is controlled on the basis of a single system (Beckhoff).

Fact sheet:

  • Beckhoff Control
  • 3 Operator Desks with 15 “Beckhoff IPC
  • 9 IO boards via EtherCAT
  • 3 KUKA KR180 PA
  • 2 KUKA kR60
  • 5 KUKA KR10 Scara
  • 5 Step lifts for filled boxes
  • 5 Check-weighers from Mettler Toledo
  • 7 SKUs markers from Markem Imaje
  • 1 T-pak brands from Markem Imaje
  • 1 Oktopus plastic wrap from Signode
  • Acoustic tracks from Knapp Moving
  • Pall courts and magazine from Knapp Moving

» Download datasheet

The plant has an underground system for empty crates (IFCO), 6 pick cells with a small scararoboter, step lifts, and a crate court system of 7 lines. The capacity is 32 cans/min.

The plant also has two single robotic palletising cells. These has to deal with weights varying from 4 to 15kg. Capacity: 10 bags/min.