High efficiency palletising for the discounters at IPN

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Last modified: 8 May 2023
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Inspired Pet Nutrition recently invested in an innovative de-palletising and re-palletising system, the first of its kind in the UK, provided by Concetti of Umbria, Italy. Concetti has long experience in dry petfood markets.

The new system meets the needs of discount retailers where tight cost control, keen prices and a limited range of quality products are uppermost. It meets two key objectives. For half pallet loads with absolutely minimal handling in the distribution channels and in-store and crucially, for each half pallet to contain two different products.
Normally, single product pallets are broken into different pack and product sizes at the retailer’s own distribution centres before being shipped in consolidated loads to sales outlets.

To avoid this, the discounters wanted half Euro pallets, also known as Düsseldorfers, containing a mix of two different products in similar pack sizes, and capable of being displayed in store. The new system satisfies this demand without changes to IPN’s production lines or extra handling in distribution.

Comprising an Okura A-1600 robot depalletiser and Concetti PS-4A/10S-P gantry bag-in-box palletiser, conveyors, automatic stretch wrapper and slave pallet dispenser, the system handles large bags of 10-17kg, small 3kg bags and shrink-wrapped bundles of cat food in cartons (5-6 cartons per bundle).

Large bags and bundles are depalletised at 600 bags/hr from two stock pallets containing similar sized but different products and automatically restacked in a mixed format on half Euro pallets with the same layer pattern but twice the height of the originals loads. The smaller 3kg bags, now fed manually but in future directly from production lines, are stacked at 3600/hr, six per layer inside a display box on each half pallet. Bags in each box layer can be mixed and arranged in the order of arrival at the palletiser.
Cat food in carton bundles can be depalletised from two pallets and restacked onto four Düsseldorfer pallets with the same height and the same or different stacking patterns but each with an equal mix of two different products.

Empty pallets are dispensed automatically, two at a time, with a separate station provided for the operator to manually erect and place boxes, with a base sheet if required, on each Düsseldorfer.
In all cases the half pallets are separated, wrapped, regrouped, placed on a slave pallet and handled subsequently as a full pallet load.

The combination of mixed products and Düsseldorfer pallets has big advantages for the discounters. With less handling and safe manoeuvring along narrow store aisles they contribute to efficiency and help reduce stock management costs. And whether bags or cartons, customers have a choice of two products from the same stack.

George Page, Production Director at IPN said, “The whole system has been a great success”.

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Concetti is a world-leading manufacturer of high quality bagging systems and a provider of turn-key solutions. Read more