Case Study Automation and Materials Handling

New Automated Pallet Debanders Raise Safety Levels at Britvic

Britvic uploads almost 100,000 aluminium cans from pallets onto each of three new canning lines per hour at the company’s upgraded Rugby production site. Now the process of removing each pallet’s plastic retaining straps has been fully automated using vertical debanders manufactured by L.B. Foster Automation & Materials Handling.

Britvic is the largest supplier of branded still soft drinks, and the number two supplier of branded carbonated soft drinks, in Great Britain. Following £100m investment at Rugby, L.B. Foster’s new debanders are integrated into Britvic’s three new can lines, which are amongst the fastest in Europe.

Mick Haswell is Maintenance Manager - Canning at Britvic Soft Drinks Limited in Rugby. He says: “Britvic’s vision is to be the most dynamic, creative and trusted soft drinks company in the world, which is why we are investing in technologies that enable us to operate more safely, effectively and efficiently.

“That goes hand-in-hand with our commitment to providing high quality working conditions and environment for our operatives. L.B. Foster‘s vertical debanders tick all the boxes when it comes to speed, accuracy and safety, with the added bonus of reducing our environmental footprint with its clever, in-built recycling hopper for plastic retaining straps. These are shredded and the resultant granules sent for recycling.“

Mick Haswell continues: “As part of a £100m investment in Rugby, Britvic has installed three new can lines which are amongst the fastest in Europe, with each line producing up to 2,000 cans per minute. The investment is designed to step-change the speed and flexibility of our production lines whilst delivering environmental benefits through greater efficiencies.

“In the past, straps were removed manually. That‘s time consuming and repetitive work, which runs the risk of repetitive stress injury. Robotic debanders automate this task, which is a win/win in terms of safety, productivity and improved working conditions for our operatives.“

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L.B. Foster‘s vertical debanders tick all the boxes when it comes to speed, accuracy and safety, with the added bonus of reducing our environmental footprint with its clever, in-built recycling hopper for plastic retaining straps. These are shredded and the resultant granules sent for recycling.

Mick Haswell, Maintenance Manager, Britvic

Paul Parkinson, Head of Sales & Marketing at L.B. Foster Automation & Materials Handling, says: “Britvic is one of the world‘s most recognisable brands. The products that it makes are household names. So we are very proud that the company has invested in our high-performance range of debanders as part of its drive towards increased production efficiencies.

“What our robotic debanders do is automatically locate, cut and remove vertical plastic straps from stacks of drinks stored on pallets. These retaining straps are used widely in the food and beverage industries to secure goods on pallets during transportation. Safely removing and disposing responsibly of the straps is a challenge facing the sector.

“Our debander solutions include custom-designed machines that remove pallet retaining straps, both vertically and horizontally. Having removed the retaining straps, our debanders also shred the plastic straps for recycling. It‘s just one of the innovations that sets our debanders apart from our competition.“

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