Goal: cost reductions in citrus fruit warehouses

Process automation encourages the reduction of production costs with a swift amortisation.
AGVs Maf Roda

“The citrus fruit industry is one of the most suitable ones for implementing complete warehouse automation solutions, due to its production volumes and to the length of its campaigns,” according to sources from Maf Roda, a manufacturer of automation technological solutions for the fresh fruit and vegetable sector.

These installations, which are active virtually 12 months of the year, can amortise the investment over a very short period of time. Therefore, both the present and future of technological innovation in citrus fruit post-harvest machinery is aimed at the complete automation of all the processes carried out in a citrus fruit warehouse, with the goal of reducing costs and increasing the production capacity per hour.

A standard pre-calibrated line by Maf Roda can process hundreds of tonnes per day, managed by just 5 operators. This allows a clear cost reduction in labour and a swift amortisation of the installation, as it allows shifts to be doubled with greater ease. However, when we talk about the complete automation of the processes, we are not exclusively concentrating on the pre-calibrated and preparation lines with systems such as the Pomone IV or on quality analysis and detection of external imperfections with the Globalscan 7 – Viotec and Brix levels with Insight by Maf Roda; but rather we are extending the view to the racking of boxes and bins around the warehouse with the new autonomous vehicles known as AGVs (Automatic Guided Vehicles), or the management of efficiency and productivity with systems based on GMAO and OEE.

Maf Roda confirms that “in Spain there are already several citrus fruit installations that use AGVs, working along the same lines as the large logistics warehouses. We expect the implantation of these autonomous vehicles to reach the largest production centres on a Spanish national level over the next 3 years.”

These autonomous vehicles are replacing forklift trucks; they have a high production capacity, and they are specially designed for the fruit and vegetable sector. One of their special characteristics is their clamps for holding adaptable boxes and bins. Additionally, their capacity to carry out micro-charging while working gives them great range for working constantly over the long production days.

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