FOLD: Modular Cobot for production of Stone Paper Innovative Products

Background

Europack is a Bulgarian SME that has developed and patented a new type of wicket bag from paper made out of stone, called Stone paper. Stone Paper – paper made from CaCO3, is an ecological and recyclable product with characteristics like resistance to water, acids, moth and insects. The qualities of this product brought the idea to start producing grow tubes for protection of young vines and trees from this material.

Stone Paper grow tubes are sold on the Bulgarian Market, in very limited quantities, after a handmade, labour-intensive production process that decreases the competitiveness of the product and avoids quick replacement of plastic based waste in the agro field, as well as in other commonly plastic-based markets such as packaging.

In this experiment, Europack will be working with artist Isaac Monte B.V (The Netherlands), and technical partner Oviso Robotics SRL (Romania)

Isaac Monte B.V‘s work combines technology, art and science, showing how art can contribute to a strategy of sustainable development. Since 2015 he has been combining waste streams such as overdue foods with new, promising technologies in synthetic biology. 

Oviso Robotics SRL is a leading provider of bespoke robotic, automation solutions and applications within a wide range of industries. With over 10 years experience in industrial robotics, their team is focused on tomorrow’s technological challenges constantly developing solutions with a high degree of flexibility, versatility and adaptability ready for industry 4.0.

Challenges

With the collaboration of the artist Isaac Monte and the technical provider Oviso Robotics, Europack Bulgaria aims at introducing automation solutions to the manufacturing process, allowing to achieve innovative stone paper solutions and expand their product portfolio. 

The introduction of a collaborative robot will help the planning process and inventory management, contributing to:

  • reduce human error
  • speed up the production process
  • optimize the resources
  • safe interaction with human operator
  • improve the productivity

Expected Impact

The collaboration with automation solutions is expected to:

  • achieve maximum efficiency in a sustainable cost-saving factory
  • increase the production volume in 10 more products per unit of time
  • provide a cleaner and more ergonomic working environment

In addition, converting Europack’s packaging solutions to stone paper will allow to enter new markets by producing other types of products out of Stone Paper, for example flowerpots, stationary, etc., with real benefits for the ecology. The increase in market penetration, expanding to EU markets, together with these newly developed products will, in turn, require additional staff, so more people will be hired and employed as a consequence of the project. 

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