Automation machinery manufacturer Omron has provided its collaborative robot (cobot) to support the end-of-line packaging process of ice cream tubs for Denmark-based ice cream manufacturer Ice Bakers.

The deployment of this cobot will help Ice Bakers to address the increasing demand of its customers for vegan ice cream by packaging up to 12,000 ice cream tubs every day, OMRON said in a LinkedIn post.

The company provided its ‘OMRON cobot’, which is equipped with a 3D-printed suction cup tool. The cobot was then installed at the end of the production line at Ice Bakers’ facility.

It is capable of lifting a total of eight tubs at a time and putting them into the requisite cardboard boxes.

OMRON stated that the cobot has increased the overall line capacity of the ice cream manufacturer by 80% while minimising the requirement for human involvement in the process.

In a report, Packaging Scotland quoted OMRON Industrial Automation Europe Denmark’s channel sales manager Torben Friløw as saying: “It is a good example of how as a food manufacturer, you sometimes get overtaken by reality when you invent a good product that consumers demand.

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“And then there is often a need for automation solutions that make it possible to scale up production so that capacity does not become a hindrance to growth.”

Ice Bakers is owned by entrepreneur and ice cream maker Claus Sørensen.

Sørensen first started producing vegan ice cream using rice and oats in 2017.

As the demand for plant-based ice cream increased, Ice Bakers decided to automate their previously manual production line in 2020.

OMRON has confirmed that now, the ice cream maker produces more than 30,000 litres of vegan ice cream every week.