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OPERATIONAL EFFICIENCY MONTH

CSi promotes ‘smart’ material handling

CSi offers conveyors, palletizers and other material handling equipment.
CSi offers conveyors, palletizers and other material handling equipment.

Material handling systems from companies like CSi can help food firms streamline their packaging operations and increase efficiency.

CSi Industries B.V. is a UK-based equipment company that supplies palletisers, conveyors and other systems for food and packaging operations. Its clients include multi-national food and beverage companies such as PepsiCo, Mars and Unilever.

Jan de Bruijn, managing director for CSi Industries BV, told FoodProductionDaily how effective material handling equipment, including ‘smart’ palletising machines, can help a food operation boost its operational efficiency.

FPD: What is smart palletising?

Jan de Bruijn: We call ‘smart palletising’ all solutions which have been engineered to be very cost effective and at the same time very reliable. We have realized this by standardising modules of its systems, thus eliminating expensive engineering work.

Moreover, producing and assembling in low-cost environments like Romania and China results in further cost reductions while maintaining high quality.

In what ways can you help food companies boost their operational efficiency?

Personnel is expensive (and getting more expensive with yearly salary rises), and it is hard to find good quality and difficult in maintaining high reliability and productivity levels. Automation helps in eliminating undesirable work, thus reducing costs and increasing output.

CSi has developed a range of palletisers which have a unique pay-back ratio. Because of low investment level and high returns (high output, high reliability, low maintenance cost) these machines can improve productivity almost everywhere in the world. Even in so called low cost environments it is now interesting to automate the palletising operation.  

What are some of the other most common concerns your food industry clients come to you with?

Cost reduction is a key item. Reducing the labour force a desired outcome of actions, because of the factors I mentioned above. But also flexibility is important: new products enter the factory ever faster and contracts are ever shorter. Investment cash is not readily available.

How do you balance those concerns, with efficiency-related concerns?

We offer solutions that are very flexible (because of the modular concept, with standardized building blocks) and result in a very short pay-back period. There are almost no situations where we can not find a suitable solution. We offer both operational and financial leasing, and even rental for short periods (minimum 3 months).

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