Irish dairy cooperative Ornua has deployed the UR20 cobot in palletizing applications, handling a variety of products weighing up to 12 kg (26.5 lbs). The increased payload and extended reach of the new, larger UR20 cobot has enabled the company to automate a task that posed a real risk of repetitive strain injuries to employees. Ornua chose a UR20-powered palletizing solution from Robotiq, the PE20, due to its ease of use and ability to operate seamlessly alongside workers while handling diverse dairy products.
The Manual Palletizing Challenge
One of Ornua's most labor-intensive operations was end-of-line palletizing. This essential but physically demanding task involved handling a variety of dairy products, from six to 12 kg (13.2 to 26.5 lbs) packages and hefty 10 kg (22 lbs) blocks of cheese.
Manually loading and unloading these products posed a real risk of repetitive strain injuries to their dedicated employees. The job required constant bending, reaching, and lifting – a grueling and unergonomic process that could result in health issues over time. It became evident that automation could not only alleviate the strain on their workforce but also allow their employees’ transition to more value-added roles.