Food industry Success story

MRC Out of the Starting Blocks

Customer benefits:
  • Safe man-robot collaboration without protective barrier
  • Humanization of the workplace
  • Reduction of injury and health hazards
  • Increase productivity and profitability
  • New and interesting work content
Stäubli TX2 collaborative robot
The Stäubli TX2-90L seen here placing a tray with spacers in the trolley.
Stäubli TX2 collaborative robot
The gripper, which can handle both spacers and metal trays, is an in-house design.
Stäubli TX2 collaborative robot
Its multiple safety functions make the six-axis machine ideally qualified for MRC applications.


Efficient Handling of Convenience Foods

In a pioneering MRC (Man-Robot Collaboration) pilot project over a fixed period, Bischofszell Nahrungsmittel AG, a subsidiary of the Swiss Migros Group, has sought to achieve two objectives, namely the efficient production of food and the humanization of the workplace.

A company based at Bischofszell near St. Gallen specializes in the production of convenience foods. They make delicious ready-made meals that would not be out of place in a haute cuisine setting. Customer demand for these products with their quality and convenience of preparation is on a sharp upward curve. In a pilot project, the company investigated whether man-robot collaboration (MRC) could increase capacity to the level required while at the same time reducing risks to its human workforce.

Specifically, the development team were designing a system that would assist in stacking trays of fully packaged convenience dishes in multiple layers on the trolleys used for conveyance to the pasteurization/sterilization unit. The task, when performed manually throughout, entails injury hazards and health risks for employees.



While the distribution of the ready meals on the aluminum trays and the placing of spacers between the individual layers are among the more agreeable jobs on the packing line, stacking the large metal trays on the trolleys is by no means a popular activity. Manhandling the trays, which weigh in at a hefty five kilos, is heavy