Webster Griffin Ltd
Brooklands Park
Farningham Road
Crowborough,  TN6 2JD
England (UK)

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> Home > Case Studies > Pet Food and Cat Litter
Pet Food and Cat Litter

Full Case Study on WTL Installation :

WTL's cat litter is packed into 18 different bag sizes on the UP-1000

WTL's cat litter is packed into 18 different bag
sizes on the UP-1000

Smart Cat® woodbased cat litter is manufactured by WTL International Ltd, based in Macclesfield, Cheshire.   WTL were the first UK company to manufacture a softwood pellet for the cat litter market back in 1985.

The success of WTL’s cat litter is due to the growing demand for organic bio-degradable cat litters.   Smart Cat® manufactured solely from softwood flour ensures quicker absorption than other brands and immediately controls odours within the litter – not surprisingly Smart Cat®  is now one of the leading brands in constant demand from the pet and veterinary wholesale markets.  

High Speed Packing – Reduces Unit Cost

 

UP-1000 idea for short high speed batch runs

 

UP-1000 ideal for short high
speed batch runs

The new fully automatic, packing line has enabled WTL to reduce their unit price and enabled them to target a larger market with more competitive prices.

Increasing demand meant that WTL needed to find a high speed – yet versatile packing system, after a thorough market survey the Webster Griffin solution was selected on technical merit.

Initially the new line enabled WTL to cut back to one shift per day operation, however, the increased flexibility and lower unit price soon meant they were back to two shift operation - packing double the volume.

Flexibility the name of the game

  Range of bag sizes the UP1000 can fill
 

UP-1000 ideal for short high
speed batch runs

At the heart of the new packing line is the UP-1000 bagging machine which can change from packing one bag size to an other “at the press of a button”, this makes it viable for WTL to produce small ‘non standard’ batches.

Both the bagging machine and robot palletizer adjust for different bag sizes automatically, therefore, changing from a 3kg gusseted bag to a 25kg pillow bag only takes 2 minutes.   The UP-1000 will handle plastic or paper bags, pillow or gusseted bags.  

Paper bags are sewn across the top while plastic bags are heat sealed and a carrying handle is punched out on the smaller 3kg, 5kg, 7.5kg, 8kg, 10kg bags.   (A version of the UP-1000 is available for packing dry and damp pet foods, which can also handle self closing foil laminated bags).

Flexibility – right down the line

  Okura robot palletiser - 'all bag size changes are fully automatic'
 

Okura robot palletizer - 'all bag size
changes are fully automatic'

Downstream of the UP-1000 is an Okura A1500 robot palletizer, equipped with a self adjusting pick-up hand it can palletise 32 different bag sizes and palletizing programmes.

Comment from WTL

The benefits of the new packing line are summed by Simon Thompstone, Sales Director at WTL

“The installation of the UP-1000 bagging machine and Okura robot provide us with the flexibility to pack from 3 to 25kg bags.

This flexibility and associated reduction in manufacturing cost has allowed us to win contracts and supply own label products to the supermarket, pet wholesale and pet superstore markets.

The new packing line has been a boost to our business because it enables us to offer competitive rates for packing our own brand or customers own brand labels”.

For further information please contact Simon Thompstone, simon.thompstone@wtl-int.com or visit www.wtl-int.com

Video:

 

Layout Drawing of System:

Layout Drawing of Bagging & Palletising System at WTL

 

Project Specification

 
Application: Versatile packing and palletising line
Client: WTL (Spatrek Ltd) Cheshire Ltd
Product Packed: Woodbased cat litter pellets
Bag Type:
  • Paper and plastic
  • Gusseted and non gusseted
  • Handles made by machine (in plastic bags)
  • 3-25kg - machine self adjusting
Bagging Rate: 600-1000kg bags/hour
System Comprising: Electronic net weigh scale
UP-1000 bagging machine
Interface conveyors
Okura A1500 robot
Pallet conveyors
Guarding and control system
Why Did WTL select Webster Griffin: Productivity - high speed bagging and palletising enables WTL to double throughput with fewer operators
Efficiency - Automatic bag size changeover means no lost production or ‘down-time’ between changeovers
Flexibility - Able to respond to customers orders immediately – whatever the bag size or type
Economical - Able to pack small batches on demand, reducing stock levels and saving warehouse space.