Tru Blu Beverages has installed a new Fibre King automated palletising system to replace an older system, and is already seeing an upswing in productivity and capability.

With one in six beverages purchased in Australia coming from Tru Blu – either its own brands or those its packs for supermarkets – the company had a need for a palletising system that would offer the highest levels of reliability, along with flexibility to handle the increasingly diverse skus.

The company opted for a customised Fibre King CP30R Mechanical Palletiser as its solution, which was offered to Tru Blu based on its simple, robust and easy to use design and cost-effective performance. The new palletiser needed to be able to change between seven different skus all with differing pallet patterns. It was customised to suit existing production layout and included a remote pallet dispenser.

Installed just before Christmas at the beverage manufacturer's Bundamba, Qld facility, it has already been winning plaudits at Tru Blu. David Pryor, executive director, Lean Manufacturing, at the company, said, “This new palletising solution has increased reliability and reduced downtime, as the previous machine had design limitations that inhibited efficient operation on the smaller pack sizes.”

Cases arrive at the start of an inclined conveyor narrow face leading and are taken to a high-level row forming conveyor. The extended row forming conveyor is fitted with a gate and brake system for indexing cases into the machine. An actuated turner orientates one case at a time into the required format. Once collated in a row, a 90° overhead row pusher slides the cases over a split layer deck assembly, pallets are automatically dispensed and moved onto a lift assembly ready for loading.

Once a full layer of cases is formed, the stripper plate opens up allowing the layer to drop onto the waiting pallet. Layer by layer the pallet is formed until the desired layer count is reached. Completed pallets are then indexed out of the machine onto the gravity pallet outfeed conveyor ready for forklift removal. No full time operator is required to operate the machine, although it does require forklift assistance for delivery of empty pallets and removal of loaded pallets.

Tru Blu eschewed the trend to robotic palletisers with the new Fibre King CP30R. James Windsor, CEO, Fibre King, says, “There has been a shift toward robotic palletising, and while we support this for the right application it is still important to consider and understand the benefits that mechanical palletising systems can offer. For starters, they are a less complex solution allowing for quicker turnaround times, quick installs and commissioning times, they are also generally more compact and require less technical maintenance reducing downtime. Mechanical palletisers are ideally suited to one production line which runs multiple products individually throughout the course of the day. Our CP30R Mechanical Palletiser was the ideal solution for Tru Blu Beverages and we are certain it will serve them well over the years.”

Tru Blu Beverages is an Australian-owned company that has created some of the most respected beverage brands (Pub Squash, Waterfords Mineral Water, Diet Rite and Wicked Energy Drink) in Australia, and it also packs some of Australian supermarkets’ most popular private label or generic brands.

Fibre King, also an Australian owned company, has been designing, manufacturing and installing reliable, robust and cost-effective packaging machinery to Australian manufacturers for over 70 years and was the first Australian company to offer a locally designed and manufactured end of line packaging solution, back in 1950. Fibre King palletisers in particular have a proven reputation for being reliable, efficient and economical in their applications, with some in operation for 40 years. So, when Tru Blu went looking for a palletising solution, Fibre King was on the top of the list of preferred suppliers.

Pryor said, “Tru Blu has a wide variety of palletising solutions across the business and of all the solutions present, the Fibre King machines have been installed for the longest time and have provided the best all-round experience from purchase, installation, operation, and maintenance throughout the years.”


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