Rice producers face several challenges when it comes to bagging and packaging their product. Manual bagging processes can be time-consuming, labor-intensive, and prone to errors. To overcome these challenges, a USA-based rice producer sought an automated rice bagging solution that could increase production efficiency, reduce labor costs, and improve bagging accuracy. In this case study, we’ll examine how the company successfully implemented an automated rice bagging system, resulting in significant time and cost savings.
The company opted for a customized automated rice bagging system, which included several components, such as a scale support structure, bag filling equipment, sewing equipment, conveyors, and robotic palletizing equipment. The system can produce up to 10 bags per minute on a continuous-run basis and pre-weigh the 50 lb. open top BOPP bags with an accuracy of plus/minus 6 ounces per bag.
An operator places empty bags on the bag filling machine. After filling the bags, the machine automatically drops the bags onto a conveyor, where an automatic bag top reformer guides the filled bags into the bag closing system.
The bags then convey through a knockdown/bag turning conveyor, up an inclined bag flattener, across an 10-foot conveyor (to be replaced by a metal detector in the future), and then across a check weigher to a 4-foot long accumulation conveyor before being palletized by a reconditioned Fanuc robot. The Fanuc robot stacks the filled bags on pallets in a side-by-side configuration. When the pallets were filled with stacked bags, an operator removed the filled pallets from the robotic palletizer station using a forklift and replaces them with empty pallets.
The automated rice bagging system has been installed and will become fully operational soon and streamline the company’s bagging operations. The system’s pre-weighing capability will improve bagging accuracy, resulting in fewer errors and less product waste. The system’s high production capacity also allows the company to produce more bags in less time, increasing overall efficiency. In addition, the automated system reduces labor costs by eliminating the need for manual bagging processes. It is estimated that the new system could pay for itself within two years due to the increased efficiency and labor savings.
Implementing an automated rice bagging system can provide significant benefits for many different types of producers, including increased efficiency, improved bagging accuracy, and reduced labor costs. By choosing the right components and customizing the system to meet specific needs, producers can enjoy these benefits and achieve a faster return on investment.
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