AUTOMATIC TRANSPORT FOR HIGH PRESSURE FOOD PROCESSING

Client

Manufacture of food products

Task

Logistic automation of the food storage and packaging process in a newly created plant

Description

The client required logistical automation between production, their high pressure storage system, and the packaging area for the food produced. During this process, the food products subject to storage treatment were transported in cylindrical containers.

ASTI Solution
At this plant that was newly created for a company in the food sector, a food processing system was installed via the application of a high pressure storage technique, which uses cylindrical containers to transport food products that will be subjected to said treatment. Given the unique nature of the load to be transported, the traditional forks of automatic guided vehicles (AGVs) were replaced by fork implements that were specially designed for the transportation of said cylindrical containers. As such, when production is completed, the vehicle management system (SIGAT) consults and selects the most appropriate AGV at that moment for transportation based on the different established parameters. Once the AGVis selected, it transports the resulting containers, maintaining product traceability, to an intermediate warehouse as the step prior to high pressure processing. From this accumulation buffer, when the system understands a new high pressure processing order is to be launched, it will again choose the best vehicle at that particular moment for the loading of the hyperbaric process. Consequently, every processed product is communicated to the system so the most appropriate AGV is once again made available for the final phase of transportation to the packaging and shipping area for commercialisation. Additionally, an automatic battery exchange system was installed so that when an AGV detects that its batteries are below the minimum charge threshold, it heads to the station, positioning itself by a free battery location where the used battery will be removed and a fully charged battery will be installed, enabling it to continue its work. Thanks to this system, the flow of transport round high pressure processing was automated. By establishing real time communication at all times between the system with high pressure machines, the end of the production line and the outlying areas of the plant, use of the fleet of vehicles installed is fully optimised.