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Lanner Software Optimizes Kraft’s Sweet Spot - Improved productivity, reduced cardboard consumption, and the elimination of waste have followed the installation of WITNESS simulation software at Kraft’s Cadbury plant in Bournville, UK - Lanner.com
Lanner Software Optimizes Kraft’s Sweet Spot

 

PRZOOM - /newswire/ - Houston, TX, United States, 2011/09/09 - Improved productivity, reduced cardboard consumption, and the elimination of waste have followed the installation of WITNESS simulation software at Kraft’s Cadbury plant in Bournville, UK - Lanner.com.

   
 
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The Cadbury factory at Bournville in England – since 2010 part of Kraft Foods – is using Business Process Improvement (BPI) specialist Lanner’s WITNESS simulation software to manage robotic operations for the production of its Roses and Heroes lines of assorted chocolate selections.

Until recently, each chocolate type was stored in separate cardboard boxes, emptied by hand for packing. However, that meant 170,000 boxes and a lot of manual handling. Hence the move to robots, capable of handling large industrial polypans, and by consequence of this, the deployment of WITNESS to test and validate the production processes and optimize operation of the capex involved.

Beccy Smith, associate principal scientist at Cadbury, explains that the site has to maintain a buffer stock of wrapped but unpackaged product, which continually updates for subsequent production runs.

"Simulation was brought on board to validate the investment and make sure it would do what we needed it to," confirms Smith.

"However, it was not just about proving the business case. The control logic for robots is incredibly complex and even something as seemingly simple as four robot arms soon develops a great deal of sophistication. That means time spent simulating and optimizing the control logic can make a real difference to productivity," she adds.

Smith illustrates her point by explaining that four robot arms each have six different cell positions used for five full polypans and one set of empty polypans.

"The robot palletizes and de-palletizes these, as required," she says. "It must balance the handling of the empty and full polypans to balance the flow of pallets. The delivery of the polypans on their pallets, via the conveyor systems from various points in the factory, forms part of this loop. And of course, this is all variable, as production demands change."

WITNESS was used to model the initial design and subsequently to refine robot timing and sequences, conveyor delivery and operational controls.

"We have gone from multiple cases of manual unloading of boxes to single automatic tipping of polypans that carry 5.5kg of chocolate. We have also reduced our cardboard usage and transport requirement enormously supporting our 'Purple Goes Green' policy," states Smith.

"By simulating and optimizing the new equipment and the associated processes, prior to implementation, we have ensured a streamlined efficient process, one that has been implemented smoothly," she says.

"The model is not finished either," she adds. "There are always changes to be made, new trends and initiatives to follow and factors such as seasonal spikes in production to contend with. Simulation will be critical in helping us to plan and react in the future."

Kraft’s iconic Bournville plant located in the city of Birmingham, England manufactures Cadbury chocolates including Cadbury Dairy Milk, Crème Egg, Wispa and Roses.

About Lanner
Any business can use the proven simulation software and services delivered by Lanner to maximize its performance and optimize its use of resources.

Lanner (Lanner.com) is an international company with headquarters in the UK and offices in the US, China, France, and Germany. Its simulation software has delivered answers for commercial businesses and government organizations since 1979, helping them move toward operational perfection.

Lanner’s customers include some of the largest and most successful organizations in the world and its technology is embedded within leading software vendors’ products. For more information, visit lanner.com or follow [.]Lanner on Twitter.

 
 
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Lanner Software Optimizes Kraft’s Sweet Spot

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Contact: Alexandra Brooks - Lanner.com 
713-532-8008 brookspr[.]lanner.com
 
PRZOOM / PRTODAY - Newswire Today disclaims any content contained in this article. If you need/wish to contact the company who published the current release, you will need to contact them - NOT us. Issuers of articles are solely responsible for the accuracy of their content. Our complete disclaimer appears here.
IMPORTANT INFORMATION: Issuance, publication or distribution of this press release in certain jurisdictions could be subject to restrictions. The recipient of this press release is responsible for using this press release and the information herein in accordance with the applicable rules and regulations in the particular jurisdiction. This press release does not constitute an offer or an offering to acquire or subscribe for any Lanner Group, Inc. securities in any jurisdiction including any other companies listed or named in this release.

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