Myllyn Paras, a food manufacturer based in Hyvinkää, Finland, has found an innovative way to automate its palletising operations. It did so by using collaborative robots that are designed for tasks that are heavy or too strenuous for humans to carry out. Together with Dimalog Oy, and OMRON Certified Partner and system integrator which specialises in mobile robotics and cobots, the company developed a robotics palletising solution for the job.

Myllyn Paras runs the oldest mill in Finland, which processes some 75,000 tonnes of grain each year. The firm had been carrying out palletising manually, but this task was strenuous and the turnover of employees was quite high at this workstation. Aki Hänninen, Dimalog Oy’s Project Manager, explains: “At the start of this project, we visited Myllyn Paras to learn more about the space available and the items that needed to be palletized. As a result, we recommended the OMRON TM12 cobot. The robot needed a specific type of gripper that was designed and tested at our premises.”

The OMRON TM12 has best-in-class reach and payload functionalities, as it can reach up to 1300mm with a payload of up to 12kg, and with a typical speed of 1.3m/s. It provides a flexible, high performance, automated solution for manufacturing operations. The cobot comes with integrated safety features and an inbuilt vision system. The integral camera can recognise objects under almost any lighting conditions.

Automated palletising operations

The new cobot solution is now being used in palletising processes involving a range of items – for instance, batches that include packs of oatmeal. The weight of a batch can vary between five and eight kilogrammes, depending on the product. The palletising cell was secured using a combination of safety fences and an OMRON safety laser scanner. This ensures that if someone enters the safety zone, the cobot will immediately stop working.

The introduction of the OMRON cobots has reduced the issues related to workloads at the workstation. Myllyn Paras employees have said that working at this station has been a much more pleasant experience since the robot was introduced.

Aki Hänninen concludes: “Working with OMRON has been a delight for Dimalog Oy. In the future, we plan to develop similar, easily accessible palletising cell solutions that will bring new benefits to both of our companies.”

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