Gebo Cermex recently implemented two comprehensive ends-of-line for shaped plastic bottles at Unilever’s site in Dubai. Thanks to this large installation, the global player in the consumer goods market is using state-of-the-art technology that, combined with a modular design, ensures faster, shorter, and highly responsive production lines, cutting lead-time to market. To handle this ambitious customer’s requirements, the entire set of Gebo Cermex competences was needed, from robotic product collation to shrink-wrapping and palletising, thus contributing to establish a successful partnership between the two companies.
The Dubai plant also has a third, more “traditional” packaging line featuring packers and shrink wrappers, installed over the same period as the two robotic lines and designed for premium pots of skin cream. Among the 17 packers and shrink-wrappers running on site, this line is equipped with one of Gebo Cermex’s flagship pieces of equipment, the WB46 wrap-around case packer.
Said Didier Saussereau, Packing Product Manager at Gebo Cermex: “As you can imagine, it is even more challenging when speeds of up to 25 trays per minute are reached. This is why the sealing station was equipped with specific adaptations and pressing plates to guarantee a perfectly squared sealing of the trays, while protecting the pots across the entire process.”
And it was a success: the WB46 packer has retained its ultra-smooth operation, guaranteeing high-quality packaging, while ensuring that Unilever’s end-of-line specifications are fully met.
This is a good example of Gebo Cermex’s renowned capability to tailor their advanced solutions according to customers’ needs. As Didier points out, “The capacity for equipment customisation is one of Gebo Cermex’s strongest assets. Our pragmatic R&D process combined with a 360° approach to end-of-line projects means we can partner with manufacturers to overcome any specific challenge. This is what we call ‘Performance through Understanding’.”
Handling six different formats of pots and trays, the WB46 packer installed at Unilever’s factory in Dubai perfectly illustrates how to solve the dilemma between high flexibility and the need for ever-shorter production runs. This is no longer a challenge thanks to automatic adjustments, the presence of digital counters, and unlock/lock buttons specifically set to perform ultra-fast five-minute changeovers.
For greater ease of operation and maintenance, the WB46 is firmly operator-centered. With the blank magazine set at a height of 850mm, loading is easy, while the equipment’s large guarding doors offer optimal visibility. Additionally, the solution has been designed with a clear focus on ergonomics, allowing a much-improved accessibility to operators and maintenance staff.
Hygiene was also top of mind when developing WB46: with fewer horizontal surfaces, which reduce potential dust and fluid retention zones, the machine features FDA-approved thermoplastic timing belts, which also cut maintenance costs. For more visit gebocermex.com
Source: Gebo CermexAuthor: COX