The end-of-line packaging process at Ice Bakers, a Danish producer of 100% plant-based ice cream, has been automated with an OMRON TM cobot with a 3D-printed suction cup tool. This solution has enabled Ice Bakers to keep up with the high demand for their dairy-free vegan ice cream.
In 2017, Claus Sørensen, an entrepreneur and ice cream maker from Thisted, Denmark, began producing vegan ice cream made from rice and oats. The popularity of their plant-based ice cream has grown tremendously, leading to a need to automate the otherwise manual production in 2020.
"Consumers have responded incredibly well to our vegan ice cream range, and we reached a point where it was necessary to automate a number of processes to keep up with the enormous demand from the market," says Claus Sørensen, the owner of Ice Bakers. They now produce over 30,000 liters of vegan ice cream per week.
Eight tubs of ice cream at a time
The OMRON TM collaborative robot was implemented at the end of the production line and packages 10,000-12,000 ice cream tubs daily. The robot is equipped with a 3D-printed tool with vacuum suction that can lift eight tubs of ice cream at a time into a cardboard box, increasing the line capacity by 80%. Automating the process also relieves human resources for more complicated jobs.
The solution, implemented in 2021, was developed by Jysk Elteknik and Jens A. A/S in collaboration with Ice Bakers, using OMRON's TM series technology, including the Sysmac platform, PLC control, and other standard components.