Work in High Wage Countries

Robots carry out work that would not be economically viable in a high wage economy. Robots increase productivity. They speed up production time and improve quality. Please find examples below:

ABB, Sweden - IFR-Partner

ABB robots help Perryman's Bakery increase output and reduce wastage

June 2012

Perryman's of North Adelaide, Australia have tripled output, reduced waste and improved occupational health and safety, all with the help of robot automation

Perryman's, a forward-thinking family bakery from North Adelaide, Australia, has made a name for itself on the quirky appeal of its popular "Gingerbread Babies." The company's legendary recipe for the "Gingerbread Babies" was handed down through the family by the owner, Neil Perryman's, grandmother.

For owner and manager Neil Perryman, integrating a robot into the company's production process was a simple and sensible decision to make. Anyone doubting that robotics can put the "icing on the cake" for a small business should see their production line in South Australia.

 ABB robot dots the eyes, nose and bellybutton on Gingerbread BabiesDotting the eyes

In the production solution put together by integration specialist SAGE, an ABB robot dots the eyes, nose and bellybutton on each of 120 Gingerbread Babies in less than three minutes. Perryman says "Before we moved to our current location in Brompton, our output capacity was about 5,000 to 6,000 Gingerbread Babies per day. The robotic addition raises capacity to about 15,000 a day." Four dots on each of 15,000 Gingerbread Babies adds up to 60,000 dots of icing - a massive task in manual terms, which Perryman says would require a large team and far more space than a robotic cell.

"Overall output can be as much as triple because the robot integrates with our other technologies, including packing machines and moulding machines, so our production process has been accelerated," says Perryman

"The return on investment has been immense. We couldn't have reached a higher level of production without a certain amount of automation, yet it hasn't affected our recipe, which retains the hand-made, homemade feel."

From concept to solution in 12 weeks

After researching the scope and need of the project, SAGE Automation designed a compact, flexible work cell with an ABB IRB 140 robot hung from the top of the cell. The robot utilizes a vision system to identify the location and position of each of the 120 cookies on a tray as they leave the oven. Using that information, the robot positions a dispensing gun over each cookie in turn, icing all 120 in three minutes. The concept became a completed solution in just 12 weeks.

Robot helps to grow the business

This solution for a simple, formerly manual task, demonstrates that robots are fully affordable and applicable for small and medium-sized enterprises; the most mundane, time-consuming tasks can be transformed into quantifiable profit makers. "We have seen incredible growth since we began the business eight years ago," he says. "With robotics in our processes we have begun to export to New Zealand, and Singapore has shown genuine interest."

Improved health and safety

Automation has also improved occupational health and safety and allowed better deployment of staff. Employees at Perryman's showed a positive attitude from the outset, recognizing that new automation was a good step for all involved. "We have increased staff since adding the robot cell," Perryman points out, "and output has grown from a few hundred packages a day to palletized movements."

Reduced waste helps saves energy

The benefits have continued to pile up."Scrap and wastage is almost non-existent," Perryman says. "The more products we turn out, the more energy we save. The floor space taken up by the robot cell is minimal, and its height is only about two meters." In addition, the design is flexible enough to accommodate other products.