Endoline increases efficiency for Bird Bros by automating egg packing plant

Endoline Automation is assisting leading egg producer, Bird Bros with automating their end-of-line packing operation of 4 million eggs a week, while helping the company meet ambitious sustainability goals.

Pushing the environmental benchmark, family run business Bird Bros operate a low carbon Packing Centre. Since Endoline integrated four, 251 slimline case erectors into the egg packer’s Bedfordshire factory, the company has already reported efficiency gains of up to 10%.

Supplying multiple retailers and caterers, both locally and nationally, Bird Bros produce 30,000 boxes of eggs every week, from smaller, retail sized consumer packs to larger food service and catering boxes.

In a bid to automate the egg packing process, eliminate waste and increase overall efficiency, Bird Bros installed two new, MOBA MR-12 dual robot loading cells late last year.

The twin capabilities of the robotic systems allows for the independent processing of two individual packing lines and Endoline, who work closely with MOBA as a preferred supplier of case erectors, were called upon to install machinery which would manage the flow of formed boxes into the MOBA systems.

Endoline integrated four of its slimline, 251 case erectors into the packing lines, to work in tandem with the MOBA loading cells.

Measuring just 1 metre by 2 meters, almost half the size of traditional case erectors, the slimline nature of the 251 case erectors means that limited factory floor space has been taken up within Bird Bros’ factory.

In addition, due to the shape of the area in which the systems were due to be installed, Endoline created a layout to work within the restricted space. The company also designed the conveyor layout, installing chain transfer conveyors to make quick 90 degree turns, to reduce the overall length of the system.

The 251 case erectors are now erecting and loading four different case formats simultaneously at speeds of up to nine cases per minute. However, with greater speed capacity, Bird Bros now has the flexibility to increase their offering and take on further business if required.

The filled packs are then fed through to an Endoline 734, fully automatic random case sealer which was installed within the Bird Bros factory several years ago.

Automating the process has also enabled Bird Bros to reduce waste as Matthew Bird, the company’s Commercial Operations Director explains: “The smaller, catering packs are inherently difficult to pack. Due to the manual nature of packing eggs, waste can be an issue, however as a result of automating the lines, this has been eliminated. With increased efficiency, we have also decreased supply time so, where eggs have a shorter best before date, we have also reduced food waste for the end user.”

Significantly, by automating the entire process the eggs are not touched by human hand until they reach the consumer.

Joe Fox, Technical Projects Manager at Bird Bros who led the project commented: “We are delighted with the automated packing lines. Not only has it enabled us to increase

efficiency and redeploy employees who were previously working in monotonous, repetitive packing roles, it has also enabled us to meet sustainability goals.”

Image 1: Endoline’s 251 case erectors seamlessly integrated into two Moba MR-12 robot loading cells are now packing 4 million eggs per week within Bird Bros.

Image 2: The compact footprint of the 251 case erectors has kept floor space to a minimum.

Image 3: Bird Bros produce 30,000 boxes of eggs every week, from smaller, retail sized consumer packs to larger food service and catering boxes.

Endoline Automation answers calls for compact, automated end-of-line systems

The Covid-19 crisis has increased demand for compact, space saving end-of-line packaging equipment, with many manufacturers automating their processing lines within confined spaces.

Many manufacturers have accelerated automation plans, however, typical within UK factory sites, space is often a premium and demand for efficient, yet compact solutions is on the rise. As a leader in end-of-line machinery, Endoline Automation have seen increasing enquiries for its slimline 251 Fully Automatic Case Erector.

As the narrowest case erector on the market, Endoline re-engineered its flagship case erecting range to create the 251, which features a 40% reduction in width.

At just 1 metre wide by 2 metres long, the 251 can be easily integrated into existing end-of-line packaging lines, and offers an automated solution to replace manually intensive work.

Still developed to the high specification of all Endoline systems, with several key features, the 251 has been designed to suit a wide variety of case sizes, styles and quality.

Endoline’s unique dual opposing vacuum technology has been integrated into the 251, to enable efficient opening of cases, while eliminating any associated issues with stiff board and glue migration which could cause product wastage.

Erecting up to 10 cases per minute, the slimline case erector seals the base with either self-adhesive tape or hot melt glue, before formed cases are fed onto an automated case packer, or hand packing station.

“While space has always been a challenge for many UK manufacturers, Covid-19 has led to calls for automation which not only fits into small areas, but are compact enough to leave enough space for people to move around safely.” Comments Andrew Yates, MD of Endoline Automation.

“As the preferred case erecter supplier of Moba Systems, we originally designed the 251 to suit their egg packing systems. Creating a machine which still featured all of the high quality features and technology, which is synonymous with Endoline, at almost half the width of other case erectors.

However, demand for compact solutions has increased and the 251 offers any of our customers a case erecting solution which can be quickly integrated into existing lines.”

Endoline Automation’s slimline
251 Fully Automatic Case Erector which
is the narrowest on the market