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Robot helps horses sleep soundly

01 June 2020

Metsä Wood UK’s head office in Boston, Lincolnshire is just one of many sites across the globe which specialise in providing sustainable, premium-quality wood products for many industries including the construction and industrial sectors.

Metsä Wood’s Hunter Woodshavings horse bedding is a valuable part of the business.

The shavings produced go into a sector which has proven both buoyant and resilient over the years: the equestrian market. 

The four UK sites at Boston, Kings Lynn, Widnes and Grangemouth also supply machined softwood and panel material to the Merchant & DIY markets. Another key strength of the business is an associated revenue stream which makes good use of the wood shavings generated during the various manufacturing processes at the Boston site. 

Every year, thousands of tonnes of Metsä Wood ‘Hunter’ Woodshavings are used for bedding in stables across the country, where they are said to be received with unbridled enthusiasm by the occupants. 

Once the loose shavings have been collated into bales using bespoke machinery at the Boston plant, the bales are removed from the line by a recently installed new Kawasaki robot and placed directly onto a 1200mm x 1200mm pallet ready for dispatch. To ensure that the load is stable, the robot must also rotate the bales through 90° as it stacks, a task easily performed whilst transiting from pick-up to deposit. 

The new robot, installed in August 2019, is a Kawasaki CP180L with associated HMI. It replaced an older robot, also a Kawasaki unit (a ZD130) that was originally installed at the plant in 2002. According to Metsä Wood Project Manager Andrew Burns, this machine had provided sterling service. “Our records revealed that the Kawasaki robot installed in 2002 had completed 10,794,000 cycles, and it had performed superbly. We valued its reliability coupled with Kawasaki Robotics’ responsiveness and professional engineering approach. When we wanted a replacement for it in August 2019, there was only one place to go – Kawasaki – for another robot to last us the next 20 years or so”. 

Read the full article in the June issue of DPA.

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