IPP Pooling’s new sorting and repair facility becomes the third largest in France
The handling of empty pallets at sortation and repair facilities continues to see an upswing in automated handling and inspection, as we discussed recently with the PECO Vision-X announcement.
IPP is modernizing its infrastructure in the North of France, according to a recent report in the French press. The specialist in the rental and management of wooden pallets has just opened a new service center in the Industrial Zone of the town of Labourse, located just over 20 km northwest of the city of Lens, in the region Hauts de France. The industrial site belongs to HDF Emballages, which since 2016 has specialized in the recycling and recovery of wooden pallets. This year, the latter will ensure the collection, sorting, and repair of 1.8 million brown-brick-colored wooden pallets of the IPP brand for the northern half of France. With such processing capacity, the Labourse service center becomes the third largest depot in terms of PPI processing capacity in France, after Paris and Lyon.
The opening of this new center is in line with the rental company’s growth plan, the objective of which is to reach 100 million pallet movements by 2025. “As part of our Network 2025, the solution offered by HDF corresponds exactly to what we want to deploy across our entire network in France. The stated objectives are a reduction in the downtime of the supports on the depots, optimized sorting and repair processes and increased working comfort for our operators,” stated Thibaut Esnée, Country Director of IPP France.
3 million euro investment
The historic headquarters of HDF Emballages, the Labourse site has a processing capacity of more than 2.5 million pallets a year. To achieve this industrial feat, and support the growth of 20% per year, its manager Grégory Leblan invested 3 million euros in the construction of a new 2,000 m2 building that houses a 40-meter-long production line.
The line is fully automated. No heavy load is carried by the sort and repair operators. The IPP pallets arrive in heterogeneous stacks at the start of the line. From there, they are transported by motorized conveyors to a sorting station for inspection. From his control table, at human height, the operator analyzes via a Human-Machine Interface if the elements of the pallet must be brought back into conformity. If the pallet is in good condition, it is transported to a robot that stacks it to go to the storage area.
If it has defective elements (a board, a broken block, etc.), it is conveyed to a repair table where the operator has a pedal to turn, turn over and repair the pallet, without physical effort. The repaired pallet then goes into storage before being put back into the supply chains of large-scale distribution manufacturers. Finally, HDF Emballages makes the most of the resource by recycling, in particular, the non-repairable wood from end-of-life pallets.