The Danish division of Carlsberg, one of the leading brewery groups in the world, was looking to improve safety conditions for employees at its factory in Fredericia, Denmark. To do so, Carlsberg adopted two collaborative robots (cobots) from Universal Robots. With the cobots, Carlsberg has significantly improved staff safety and taken steps towards achieving zero accidents at the factory.
Before installing the cobots, accidents were a common occurrence on the factory floor, especially during the brewer’s packaging process.
“Although our production line was highly automated, it still required some degree of human input. This was mainly during the packaging process, which saw our workforce manually carrying packaging cartons from the pallet to the magazine,” said Thomas Kern Ruby, Senior Project Manager at Carlsberg Fredericia. “This was a monotonous and strenuous task and often staff endured repetitive strain or sustained severe cuts while removing the packaging cable.”
To overcome these safety concerns, Carlsberg invested in two cobots, the UR3 and UR10 from Universal Robots. With a payload of up to 10kg, Carlsberg uses the UR10 to pick up a stack of 10 cartons that are tied together with packaging cable. The UR3 is used to cut and dispose of the cable and the UR10 then places the stack in the magazine.
Case Study at a Glance
|Company: Carlsberg Fredericia|
|Location: Fredericia, Denmark|
|Industry: Food & Beverage|
|Challenge: Increase worker safety|
|Partner: Universal Robots|
|Cobots: UR3 & UR10|
|Task: Pick & Place|
|Results: Handle up to 500 packaging cartons per hour; re-allocation of staff|
“This process previously accounted for 60 percent of one employee’s workload,” said Ruby. “Today, this stage only requires one operator to drive a pallet of cardboard boxes onto the line and oversee the process. The UR10 and UR3 quite literally does all the rest. This frees up our team to focus of more demanding tasks that improves their job satisfaction and crucially, keeps them safe.”
Working in tandem, the cobots can handle up to 500 packaging cartons per hour. This allows Carlsberg to alleviate and upskill its workforce to focus on high priority tasks, such as quality control and line maintenance.
Following the success of the UR10 and UR3, Carlsberg purchased four more cobots to further automate its production lines, including handling lids during the bottling process. According to Ruby, this has already delivered substantial production efficiencies.
“Productivity is just one element of business, ensuring staff safety and comfort is equally important,” said Mark Gray, UK Sales Manager at Universal Robots. “As Carlsberg Fredericia demonstrates, our cobots are designed to work alongside their human counterparts, alleviating them of the most dirty, dangerous and dull jobs to reduce accidental injuries. From a business perspective, their ease-of-use ensures simple integration into existing production cycles, allowing our customers to reap the rewards in no time.”