“We have been supplying EPS for the past 12 years, with a wide diversity of automated solutions. Sustainability is built into our products, as they all aim to be more energy efficient. Most recently, we have assisted EPS to improve the washing lines and the tray management significantly.”
We have developed fully automated washing lines, except for the washing machine itself. These lines include three specially developed machines: a drying machine using centrifugal force, a high-tech label and glue residual detector and a machine that removes those labels and residues.
By using centrifugal force to dry the trays, we use much less energy than a normal blow-dryer while achieving better results in terms of water residues. These blow-dryers are one of the most energy-hungry pieces of equipment in a wash plant and can consume up to 120 kw. The new equipment uses only five to six kw.
As EPS aims to lower the temperature of its washers, we need to guarantee that the trays remain clean. So, we developed a quality control machine that check a tray on all sides after it has been through the washing machine to evaluate its cleanliness. The machine helps identify any residues left on the trays. If needed, identified trays can then be washed in an extra cycle. Developing such a machine was challenging, considering the specific conditions in a distribution centre. These machines must withstand high temperatures, humidity, and high volumes.
In terms of tray management, in 2022, we developed a brand-new product: a fully automated transportation and counting system for trays stacked on roll cages. On average, a distribution centre will handle over 10,000 roll cages each week, each linked to a deposit. The machine we developed can identify the shop of origin of each roll cage, count the trays and calculate the corresponding deposit. All information is updated in real-time online. The project was started in 2021, and after the first test period confirmed its functionality, the solution was fully deployed in 2022. This solution aims to provide clearer information on the current tray locations and stocks, which in the end should prevent tray losses.