Wikpol participates in the XXXV Post-Campaign Technical and Raw Materials Conference 2022/2023

The objective of the conference is to summarize the completed sugar campaign, as well as to discuss “the most important issues related to sugar technology as well as agrotechnics and raw material management”1.

This year, the Technical and Raw Materials Conference was held on 16-17 February. It was traditionally organized at the FSNT-NOT House of Technicians in Warsaw by the Association of Sugar Engineers under the patronage of the Związek Producentów Cukru w Polsce [Association of Sugar Manufacturers of Poland].

During the conference, Wikpol CEO Zbigniew Kominek presented the topic “Robotization
and automation of processes within the packaging and raw material purchase. AGV in intralogistics”.

In the first part of the speech, CEO Kominek outlined various strategies for approaching the robotization process in manufacturing companies, the possibility of scaling and developing projects related to robotization, and the selection of optimal solutions in terms of the characteristics of a given company. In presenting these issues, the speaker used examples of specific plants, each of which used a different way of implementing automation and robotization in the final section of their production processes.

The second part of the presentation was devoted to the issues of intralogistics, including the possibilities of using autonomous vehicles to supply production lines with various pieces and auxiliary elements (e.g. pallets), as well as to transport linking the production area with the warehouse.

Wikpol is a manufacturer of a special type of AGVs that have been designed for bulk packaging and palletizing lines. These vehicles are characterized by a lifting capacity of up to 1 500 kg and a quaint way to secure the load. For this reason, Wikpol is able to provide manufacturing companies with specialist knowledge in the optimal use of autonomous vehicles, as well as design a complete transport system.

Subsequently, CEO Zbigniew Kominek presented the raw material testing line – a unique system designed by Wikpol for the needs of sugar factories and potato processing plants. The system allows to organize and automate the activities of raw material sampling, preparation of samples for laboratory testing and finally – assessment of raw material quality in a robotic laboratory. The benefits of implementing a raw material testing line in the plant cannot be overestimated. These include:

  • high efficiency robotic quality laboratory
  • 24h operation
  • precise assessment of the quality of raw materials supplied by multiple suppliers
  • option to buffer the samples – thus rendering the sampling stage independent of the analysis stage in the laboratory
  • flawless identification of tested samples
  • providing data (quality assessment results) in a form adapted to the customer’s needs, i.e. full integration with the existing IT system of the respective plant

The last topic raised by the CEO Kominek were positive aspects regarding the use of the Purchasing Service System, i.e. software that covers the processes from the stage of loading the raw material in the field through the stages of receiving the raw material, collecting raw material samples, testing the quality of the raw materials in the robotic laboratory and unloading and taring vehicles, up to the loading and export of pulp. The software enables the organization of all logistics processes related to the purchase of raw materials and the recording of acquired data in the SQL database.

This year, Wikpol organized a promotional stand for Wikpol together with FANUC – the leading manufacturer of industrial robots worldwide.

The complete agenda of the Conference covered the following topics:

  • presentation of the course and results of the 2022/2023 sugar campaign in the sugar plants of the respective Sugar Companies and on the scale of the sugar industry in Poland,
  • the current state and prospects of the sugar industry,
  • solutions in the field of Industry 4.0 contributing to the optimization of energy consumption and, therefore, to the reduction of costs and emissions of pollutants into the atmosphere
  • energy transformation in the sugar industry,
  • innovative solutions in the cultivation and agrotechnics of sugar beet, improving the yield of beets and increasing their polarization,
  • geoinformation on plantations, innovative farming and beet harvesting techniques
  • promotion of companies offering products and services for the sugar industry.

1 The description of the purpose of the conference comes from the report entitled: “XXXV POKAMPANIJNA KONFERENCJA TECHNICZNO-SUROWCOWA 2023 – KAMPANIA CUKROWNICZA 2022/2023 W PRZEMYŚLE CUKROWNICZYM W POLSCE”; www.stc.pl/konferencje2023

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