Carlsberg cobots create safe environment

The Denmark division of brewery group Carlsberg has taken a step towards achieving zero accidents by integrating cobots into its Fredericia factory.

Although the company’s production lines were already highly automated, they still required some degree of human input, explained senior project manager Thomas Kern Ruby, and incidents were a common occurrence on the factory floor. This, he said, was mainly during the packaging process, when staff would be manually carrying packaging cartons from the pallet to the magazine.

To overcome these safety concerns, Carlsberg Frederica installed two Universal Robots (UR) cobots: the UR3 and the UR10. With a high payload of up to 10kg, the company uses the UR10 to pick up a stack of ten cartons which are tied together with packaging cable. The UR3 is used to cut and dispose of the cable and the UR10 then places the stack in the magazine. Working in tandem, the cobots can handle up to 500 packaging cartons per hour.

Ruby explained: “This process previously accounted for 60 per cent of one employee’s workload. Today, this stage only requires one operator to drive a pallet of cardboard boxes onto the line and oversee the process. The UR10 and UR3 quite literally does all the rest. This frees up our team to focus of more demanding tasks that improves their job satisfaction and crucially, keeps them safe. This has helped us realise our goal and achieve a zero accidents culture, a key part of our sustainability programme, Together Towards Zero.”