The demand for medical supplies globally is increasing. With this, the supplies companies are ramping up their production, but are in need of good technology and design to manage their stock keeping units (SKU.) To keep up with production rate at the manufacturing facility, Mölnlycke Health Care, single-use wound care and surgical products manufacturer, needed a system to efficiently transport and palletize SKUs while maintaining clean room standards on the floor.
They built a new manufacturing facility in Brunswick, Maine and wanted best-in-class system and material to handle their equipment. For their solution, they chose Robotic Palletizing System by Bastian Solutions. This system would efficiently transport and palletize SKUs and maintain the required clean room standards.
Integrating the whole Robotic Palletizing System meant using many technologies to improve the system. These included, custom automated clean room pass-through/sluice, shuttleworth slip-torque accumulation conveyor, 2 in / 2 out Robotic Palletizer, two Automatic Pallet Dispensers capable of handling US and EUR Pallets, two Semi-Automatic Case Sealers, two Automatic Labelers, Spantech Plastic Belt Conveyor & Spirals, Automatic Stretch Wrapper that uses Perforated Stretch-Wrap, two Manual Pack Stations and ZiPline Case Conveyor.
Other benefits of the system include automated sluice that maintains the positive pressure in the clean room area. The Shuttleworth Slip-Torque conveyor allows accumulation of product in the clean room without a belt running underneath the cases.
An interesting solution that can be seen at Brunswick facility are ceiling-hung conveyers for to keep pace with production. “Some of the aspects of the conveyer were critical to maintain but do maximize the floor space beneath the conveyer so we could operate,” says Richard Wood, Engineering Director, Mölnlycke Health Care.
The results of whole Robotic Palletizing integrated System have proved to be beneficial for Mölnlycke. The robotic palletizer completes over 16 pallets per day with room for growth and the pallets are stacked to over 90 inches without safety concerns of manually stacking tall pallets. The scanners check to ensure cases are for the correct batch and that has allowed a single warehouse operator to manage the palletizer and other warehouse duties.
Using automation and robotics is now becoming a norm for managing SKUs across the medical device and equipment industry.