When 3663 First for Foodservice wanted to automate the transfer of fresh chicken destined for KFC to its two regional distribution centres (RDCs) at Royton and Banbury, it called in Industrial Automation (IAL) which set about inventing a machine to transfer a pallet-full of trays on to a set of dolleys.
In 2004, 3663 won the contract for KFC which included the movement of fresh chicken to the RDCs in trays containing up to 30kg of chicken - in excess of the 25kg recommended as the maximum weight for manual handling. Each RDC handled between 2,000 and 3,500 trays a day, which were transported on wooden pallets. They were then de-palletised on to dolleys in stacks of six.
It was decided to automate the transfer of the stacks from pallets to dolleys. Over the course of six months, IAL developed a machine in which a pallet load of 30 trays is driven into one end of the machine. At the other end, five dolleys are put into position.
The trays are then lifted and the pallet pushed out of the way before the five dolleys are brought into place. This movement takes just 60 seconds with the total transfer taking less than two minutes.
Part of the development involved IAL re-designing the dolleys in order to centralise the trays on the dolleys to ensure stability of the stack.
Contact: Industrial Automation Tel: 0115 8400 500