Endoline Automation, together with distributor Ferag, has assisted one of Belgium’s leading wholesalers, Conway, meet sustainability goals and increase efficiency with the installation of case erecting and case sealing systems.
Working across four packing lines within one of Conway’s logistics centres, the successful installation of an Endoline 225 Case Erector and two, customised Endoline 704 Case Sealers, which are handling over 3,500 boxes a day, has led to a second order within Conway’s second logistics centre. In addition, the solution has enabled the company to reduce more than half the number of full-time operators working on the lines.
While improving ergonomics for manual workers, the installation has enabled Conway to run both new and used boxes, meeting the company’s goal of reducing their carbon footprint.
“Cardboard boxes have a limited ecological footprint. But we try to go one step further by limiting as much waste as possible and recovering packaging material,” comments Conway Facility Manager, Okay Ozel. “While we no longer use boxes which do not meet our quality requirements, many are still perfectly reusable.”
Part of the Lekkerland Group, the specialist on-the-go consumption company who serves some 85,500 outlets across Europe, Conway supplies Belgian gas stations, bakeries, food retailers and quick service restaurants with convenience products, from fresh food to tobacco products.
Orders from customers are received via the Conway Group’s two logistic centres in Courcelles and Temse. To streamline the picking operation, the company introduced a robust, pick-to-light system to increase efficiency and productivity. When an order comes through, the picker is optically routed to the locations and products, which were historically then taken to four packing lines where manual workers would form the cases, pack and then seal.
To enhance efficiency further, Conway worked with Ferag in Belgium, who has successfully worked as a distributor for Endoline for over 20 years, to create a solution to automate this previously labour-intensive operation within its Courcelles site.
Due to Endoline’s unique dual opposing vacuum technology, the system can process the entire range of boxes seamlessly, including those which have previously been used, at a speed of 12 per minute. In addition, the case erector’s hopper is ergonomically positioned for ease of loading.
Two, fully automatic Endoline 704 Case Sealers were also installed at the end of the packing lines, serving two lines each. Once the formed boxes are manually filled, they are pushed down to the case sealers. Significantly, the sealers adjust themselves automatically to the size of the boxes offered, without the intervention of an operator.
Up to 32 cases per minute are sealed across both systems, meeting Conway’s desire to increase productivity. With a robust capacity to run 24/7, the systems have also enabled the company to increase capacity in the future.
“We are very happy with the installation of Endoline’s equipment.” Ozel continues. “The mixed use of recovered and new boxes can pose specific challenges to the flexibility of erectors and sealers, but we have overcome this with Endoline and Ferag’s solution.”
The Conway Group is now looking to replicate the automation within its Temse logistics center.