Loading Beer Cartons into a High Speed Carton Erector

Materials Handling Pty Ltd was approached by a supplier of High Speed Carton Erector Machines to resolve an issue that occurred when operators loaded feed magazines into flat packed cartons.

Serious injuries to the hand, shoulder and wrist were possible if workers grabbed cartons by hand.  Fatigue was also an issue as machines had high speed and volume capacities.  Keeping up with the machine rates of 50-150 per minute was extremely strenuous.  These risks posed many potential hazards and saw such position rotated between employees on a regular basis.  This ensured operators were given enough time to rest and recuperate before continuing work.

Materials Handling Pty Ltd faced the challenge of solving a number of problems.  These included a lack of headroom above the machine (this required tool heights to be kept as low as possible), cartons did not squeeze flat, cartons were slippery to grab and the shipper needed redesigning to allow for access.

Materials Handling Pty Ltd first discussed with the carton supplier the possibility of adding perforations to the shipper to allow easy access inside the carton.  This would mean that cartons were able to be opened by hand to obtain the product.  This was the first step to be completed before the tool was allowed to be designed.  Such design aimed to replicate the grip of the operators hand when grabbing 10-15 cartons at a time and when grabbing the whole carton via an end tool.

As a solution, a pneumatic paddle style gripper was designed and added to an Intelligent Lift Assist (IAD).  The IAD added the benefit of speed.  It also allowed for zero load for the operator.  This meant that as little as 20 grammes of effort was required to lift and place a repetitive load of 15 kilogrammes.  The IAD and tool were then installed in a Work Station Bridge Crane with low rolling resistance of 1:100 of the load.  This also meant that less effort was required and risk of injury to operators was reduced.  The bridge crane provided a wide work area to access pallets stored upon machine decks. Materials Handling Pty Ltd provided a solution which resulted in a reduction of injuries amongst employees at the workplace. It also ensured that what was once a hard job, was now easy for all operators.

Loading Beer Cartons into a High Speed Carton Erector

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