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Growing demand for palletizers

Saving time and manpower

The importance of making the workplace more efficient is greater than ever. More and more companies are struggling to get enough staff. Let alone when heavy work is involved.

This is also experienced by Van den Berge Handelsonderneming. The company invests in machines that save time and manpower.
Van den Berge from Kruiningen in Zeeland sorts and packs AGF products. The family business is run by Patrick, Harry and Artjan van den Berge. “Originally, we are a real onion packing station. Over the years, we have added sorting and packing of other products, such as celeriac, carrots, red beets and parsnips,” says Artjan.
“At about 70 percent, onions still make up the largest share.”

Automating stacking crates

The onions sorted and packaged at Van den Berge are delivered in bulk directly from the growers. After packing, the product is stacked on a pallet. “Many of the
products leave with us in pool crates, quite a chore when these are filled. Such heavy manual labor is actually out of the question. To spare our people, we invested in a palletizer for automatically stacking boxes and crates on a pallet.”

Van den Berge chose the palletizer from Burg Machines of the Top-Line type. “What was the deciding factor for us? We were looking for a compact and reliable machine with a high capacity. The palletizer must be able to run smoothly all day and be easy to operate by anyone. The ability to choose different patterns for stacking also played a role, as we use the machine for different products and packaging. Moreover, the palletizer was quickly available and we have good experiences with Burg Machines,” Artjan argues.

Doing more work in less time

Last year, the new machine was put into operation with complete satisfaction. The palletizer can average about 1,000 boxes or crates per hour. “Normally you would need four to five staff for this, now we get by with two employees. So very efficient. We want to make further efficiency gains with the use of the machine in the near future by connecting it to two weighers.”

Optimization of the production line has had the family business’ attention for some time. By automating more, they can bring down the high labor costs and do more work in less time. Therefore, this is not the first time Van den Berge has done business with Burg Machines. They previously invested in a box tipper from Burg Machines and the machine manufacturer was also closely involved in the realization of the new washing line. “They are practical people, they listen carefully to our wishes and also really look at what you need as a company. What is our working method, where are our people on the shop floor, what are the logistics like, and so on. These are important aspects to consider when buying and installing a particular machine.”

Growth market for palletizers

Arjan van Burg of Burg Machines agrees. “It’s all about added value. We would rather not sell a machine than when an investment does not benefit the customer at all. Working as efficiently as possible with fewer people is becoming increasingly important. The fact is that good labor is scarce. And you want to keep the people you have for as long as possible. That is why it is really necessary to lighten heavy physical labor wherever possible.” For this reason, the machine manufacturer is seeing increasing demand for palletizers. A good development since a lot of stacking in the sector is still done by hand, which is ergonomically quite tough. “A palletizer saves on personnel, relieves heavy work and improves capacity. The plate palletizer, the machine for which Van den Berge also went, is currently the preferred choice. It is a compact and smart machine. The palletizer is user-friendly and offers many possibilities of different stacking patterns.”

In addition to machines for automatically stacking boxes and crates on a pallet, box handling is also a growth market for Burg Machines. “All somewhat heavier work that is increasingly being automated. This saves a lot of time and manpower, without compromising the quality of the products. The great thing is that this investment gives companies immediate added value.”

©AGF Primeur 2 – Onions – 2023

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