The AMABOX System is a revolutionary way of handling ingredients in your factory. We strive to eliminate 100% of manual dosing, weighing and hand-tipping of ingredients. The system can handle an unlimited number of ingredients, is completely traceable and highly accurate, and has a very low cross-contamination. This will drastically improve working conditions, quality and plant efficiency.
AMABOX delivers a completely modular and scalable system. This regards the number of ingredients, total storage capacity, dosing capacity, number of mixing lines, etcetera. Because of the modular design with box transportation options, the storage capabilities are extremely flexible.
The AMABOX System can eliminate manual ingredient handling in your factory. For decades, people have been looking for ways to eliminate manual labour in this non-automated process part in the compound feed factory. Over the years, many smart solutions have been found to control other process components in such a way that the human factor in the factory was eliminated. We know the advantages: better for efficiency, safety, ergonomics, the environment, etcetera. The addition of small components was an exception: no adequate solution was available yet. Until we found the solution. The system can be applied in the entire powder and pellet handling industry.
New ingredients are introduced every day. Whether it is economically driven, providing new nutritional benefits, or offering the marketing team the nicest quality claims: new ingredients are introduced every day, so the number of ingredients is continuously increasing. Most likely, these ingredients will have to be manually handled. It is a worldwide and industry-wide trend. What used to be 20 ingredients manually handled, is now 40 and can be 80 or more in the future. Working with a limited and fixed number of silos can only support you to some extent. What you require is real and maximum flexibility.
Now the solution is here: the AMABOX system. It will handle this ever-changing and continuously increasing number of ingredients with ease. Whether you have 20, 40, 80 or even over 200 ingredients, it does not matter.
It even deals with this without demanding any increase of operator involvement. In fact, the AMABOX system will eliminate all down-sides of manually handling ingredients, like HSE, operator errors and timely presence at the mixing line, and in this process the AMABOX system also offers you up to 15% efficiency increase of your production facility.
The AMABOX system is capable to grow with you, as your production grows.
Sometimes by simply adding boxes, increasing storage capacity or bringing another BoxDoser online. AMABOX can often do this within existing building profiles and operating permits, because of the modular design and good transportation facilities. This is what we call: maximum flexibility.
Erik Smulders (founder) explains how it works: “The AMABOX System consists different machines, with at its core an automatic storage of ingredients (AmaStore) and dosing and weighing of components (BoxDoser). The 50 kilogram uniform boxes are filled from bags or big-bags for the storage of ingredients, while in the case of a mix, the filling takes place through a dosing slide. The filling from bags or big-bags is currently done manually in the system; this may change if this can be done by a robot in the future, or if the ingredients are delivered directly in boxes by the supplier.
All ingredients are barcoded, weighed and tracked with RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) tags. Controlled by production orders, the BoxDoser automatically doses and weighs the required ingredients in the mix line. Dosing takes place with an electric, servo-controlled dosing slide. This slide is frequently and automatically cleaned. The BoxTipper then automatically discharges the ingredients into the batch mixer, which is part of the production process. The system is fully modular and scalable, taking into account the number of ingredients, total desired storage capacity, dosing capacity and the number of mixing lines.”
Dirk Zoontjens (Manager Sales & Organisation) adds: “Because the ingredients and mixtures in this system are not dosed from bunkers and silos, but from the boxes – comparable to the well-known crates – the unloading is not hindered by settling and bridging of the product. This guarantees a good influx of the product. The automation includes a learning system; in this case no product learning, but a machine learning system. It learns from previously observed deviations in dosing and weighing and takes them into account in the following batches. In addition, check-weighing prevents any errors. Dosing the wrong ingredients is almost impossible, because the human factor is switched off. To prevent dust nuisance, dust extraction has been installed at a number of critical points. The amount of dust that needs to be extracted, is only about 1‰.”
Fully modular & scalable
Erik: “The first user of the system is Coppens Diervoeding (now De Heus) in Helmond, where we have gained two years of experience. The system, which is installed in an adjacent warehouse next to the factory, consists of a large computer-controlled store with 500 boxes. In the past, there were thousands of manual additions per week of premixes, additives and minerals. The ingredients are now accurately dosed and weighed during the production process of the feeds. The boxes are transported to tipping via a roller conveyor to the floor above the main mixer, tilted, unloaded and returned empty to the filling station. Of course, there were some teething problems in an installation like this, but they have all been resolved. Coppens is satisfied and future customers are welcome here to see the AMABOX System work in practice.”
Erik explains that in practice this automation can easily yield a 10% cost reduction. “The fact that there is no operator involved who has to carry out the addition, but that the boxes are immediately ready to add the mix into the mixer in a very short time. This means that the cycle time of the grinding-mixing line is considerably shortened. In many cases by 20%.
Just imagine: no more addition of the individual ingredients, no more waiting for the operator who is busy with other activities, no more supply and removal of bags in the factory and no more waiting times because ingredients are not available. The box with the mixture, which has already been filled in advance, is ready for addition to the mixer. Of course, the system does require an investment, but we can demonstrate that it quickly pays off, even if the amount of additional ingredient tipping is limited. Another positive development is that the man/woman from the control room is no longer burdened with the dusty and unhealthy dumping of the powders. The operator in 2022 – often with a higher education – is no longer ‘eager’ to perform this action 10 times an hour.”
Erik explains that the company was founded with the aim of finding an answer to the growing worldwide demand for innovation in this field. “We realized that we can work most effectively in a small organization, within which solutions can be found creatively. As a small team, we are very familiar with the problems in production companies and are familiar with the environmental and logistical puzzles surrounding manual small ingredient handling. Numerous systems are already available for the dosing of medium-sized and large raw materials; it is up to us to find a tailor-made solution for the small components (up to medium and large) for every practical case.
Our product is already in high demand: we have orders and serious interest worldwide. Several installations are currently being prepared for premix and pet food producers in our recently inaugurated new testing & assembly hall in Bladel.” Erik and Dirk summarize the advantages once again and are delighted to present this automation system to potential new customers. “It finally shows that it is certainly possible to offer an alternative to manual handling in the factory, which has so many disadvantages.”
With its (new) testing & assembly facilities and office, AMABOX is located in Bladel. The components of the AMABOX System are manufactured and supplied by individually selected suppliers. The development and engineering, as well as testing before delivery, is done in-house.
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