A huge surge in demand for the latest machines within the dairy industry means that Fullwood Packo has enjoyed particular success with its M2erlin robotic milking systems.
With significant advantages, the system has created a reduction in labour costs and increase in milk yield and volumes for its customers. However, with this increased demand comes increased manufacturing pressures and a need to reassess capacity and resources.
The company decided a more integrated machine build approach was required and that this would have to be discussed with a partner it could trust.
After working together for more than a decade, PP Control & Automation (PP C&A) and Fullwood Packo brought together dedicated teams to plan future M²erlin production patterns and share ways in which the ‘build’ process could be streamlined, manufacturing costs managed, and capacity capability doubled – all without additional production space and labour resource.
Reviewing best practices gleaned from other industry sectors, the PP C&A ‘design for manufacture’ engineering team revised the current build processes and came up with a number of suggestions that would see it provide a significantly more cross-functional and added value build solution. It identified that the electrical and mechanical controls could be combined into a single integrated outsourcing approach.
Work then commenced on both production engineering – identifying areas of standardisation, option configuration, combined test requirements, as well as mapping out supply chain needs and engaging both current and new suppliers to ensure optimum quality, reliability and total production costs. To ensure reliability, PP C&A used a trusted method to intricately test the systems using a special test rig – a test which functionally checks the entire system through software, replicating the connectivity associated with the robot.
The supply chain challenge also required PP C&A to move fabrication and machined parts into its own supply chain to create additional production capacity with Fullwood Packo.
The strategic outsourcing partnership has already delivered significant results for Fullwood Packo and played a key role in the company doubling its production and keeping up with customer demand. PP C&A continue to support Fullwood Packo in scaling-up through a standardised approach to design and flexible customer configuration. This approach to engineering design support also ensures that all international safety legislation is met, including UL508a.
In addition to boosting our capacity, we have worked closely with PP C&A engineers to boost connectivity, incorporating a number of design iterations into the build so we can easily customise the machines to fit the client’s exact requirements.
Aled Williams, Operations Manager
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The next step is to work closely with the end-to-end supply chain to help further improve machine design and performance.
Ruth Piotrowski, Commercial Manager
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