A newly installed fully automated case erecting and robotic loading solution by Endoline Machinery at Nairn’s Oatcakes has automated a labour intensive operation, improved efficiency, and overcome previous limitations to meet retailer expectations on shelf ready applications. 

Edinburgh based Nairn’s are the number one producer, and leading brand of oatcakes in the UK -supplying major supermarket chains and health food shops across the country.  For ease of construction Nairn’s had traditionally ultilsed tuck in bottom cases but new criteria set out by supermarkets and food suppliers for the design and performance of shelf ready cases demanded more efficient handling and faster brand recognition to ensure easier access to products.   Ian Murray, Managing Director of Murray Packaging who commissioned the installation at Nairn’s, comments: “The design of the tuck in bottomed cases meant there was a lip which the customer had to reach over to lift the carton out – the new case design would simplify this operation and Nairn’s recognised the efficiency gains they would make by automating packing process.”

Accepting the project as a systems integrator Endoline installed a case erecting and robotic loading solution to fully automate the packing line.  The case erector seamlessly forms 13 cases per minute with a hot melt glue.  Ian comments, “In this instance a hot melt glue application was recommended as it secures the base of the box without producing an overlap which can often be the case with tape applications – allowing Nairn’s to meet supermarket shelf ready expectations.”  The case erector is built and programmed into an Endoline conveyor system which is feeding formed cases directly into an Endoline robot cell. 

Packing up to 80 cartons of oatcakes per minute the robot cell deploys with a six axis ABB robot arm, equipped with a specially designed gripper that is easily fitted with between 6 and 12 quick release suction cups so that the operator can select packing quantities from 6 to 12 cartons per case using a pre-programmed list of recipes via Endoline’s simple to use HMI.

Automation has not only improved the efficiency of the packing line but allowed Nairn’s to redeploy valuable labour elsewhere in the operation. Gavin Love, Technical Director at Nairn’s comments, “We were very impressed by the expertise shown by Murray Packaging and Endoline in translating our initial thoughts into a workable solution.  We were especially impressed by the design, installation and commissioning of the equipment which enabled an efficient startup and transition”

For further information on any of Endoline’s extensive range of machines, please contact Endoline on Tel: + 44 (0) 1767 316422, Fax: 01767 318033, email: sales@endoline.co.uk or visit the website at www.endoline.co.uk