Packaging Delicate Herbs at Rosborg Greenhouse, Denmark

Packaging Delicate Herbs at Rosborg Greenhouse, Denmark

It takes great finesse to cultivate and deliver delicious, fresh herbs. It takes intelligent automation to ensure that production is efficient, competitive, and creates a good work environment. That is why Denmark’s largest producer of herbs and mini plants, Rosborg Food Holding, chose to invest in sensitive, flexible robot grippers from OnRobot to handle their plants.

The use of herbs dates back to at least 4000 years ago in Babylon. The ancient Egyptians and Greeks developed and refined the cultivation of herbs for use in the emerging medical sciences and as culinary delights. In the 21st century, robotics technology is increasingly contributing to the taste, smell and freshness of our food.

Inside the 120,000 square meters of greenhouses in Odense, Denmark, mint, dill, tarragon, miniature roses and other small delicate plants grow in an advanced production facility equipped with state-of-the-art technology. A total of 130 employees produce, pack,  manage and sell 28 million herb plants and 12 million mini flowers annually under the product names Gloria Mundi, Økologihaven and Eurostar plants. To accomodate a growing demand and a wide range of products, as well as seasonal fluctuations, they streamlined and automated their production line.

Reducing monotonous work

"We are continuously working to improve the productivity and efficiency of our processes. The automation solution we implemented relieved our employees of monotonous, physically demanding tasks that they would prefer to avoid anyway. Robot technology also helps us reduce the amount of overtime and temporary workers we need,” says Henning Jørgensen, Partner and Operations Manager, Rosborg Food Holding.

The Danish nursery has produced spices and mini flowers for both retail and restaurants since 1980. In 2013 a new owner began the process of radically modernizing the company’s entire production. The new owners invested 37 million Danish crowns in new high-efficiency greenhouses equipped with automation technology and robots. At the same time, Rosborg expanded its range of products to meet the growing demand for herbs not traditionally used in Scandinavian cuisine. In addition to robots and employees, they also employ 10 different kinds of beneficial insects, which eliminate pests on the plants in the greenhouses naturally.

Robot hand with fingertip sensation

One of the latest investments in automation is a flexible packaging line featuring a cobot from Universal Robots, fitted with an RG6 gripper from OnRobot. The two “fingers” of the robot gripper have built-in intelligence and advanced technology that mimics the way humans instinctively use our sense of touch when we grasp things and move them.

The automated packaging solution is so intuitive to use that staff without robot experience easily can switch the solution to packing other types of products by changing settings on the robotic arm’s touch screen. The RG6 robot gripper’s software is installed in the robotic arm similar to how you install an app on a smartphone.

“We were looking for a gripper to lift herbs and flowers gently without squashing them. We chose an RG6 gripper because of its wide and gentle grip, as well as its ability to be precise and flexible. Our new solution with the cobot and gripper automates the task of folding cardboard boxes and placing cut herbs into the boxes. We were looking for a quick return on investment. We already have our next project lined up which is to buy another cobot and gripper to feed a cutting machine that cuts the herbs. The arm and gripper will locate and gently grab the plant, then turn to place them on the line to the cutting machine,” explains Henning Jørgensen.

 

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Seasonal fluctuations made profitable with robots

Henning Jørgensen sees a huge potential for Rosborg to use several collaborative robots and grippers, i.e., “robotic arms and hands” because the ROI is so quick.

“We want to ensure a larger surplus capacity for daily operations, so that we can also double our production in peak season, during Christmas, New Year's and Easter, without losing profits on paying overtime or for extra temporary workers. As it is today, our earnings shrink during large production periods. Employees in production are also very positive about the prospect of collaborative robot technologies helping them produce more efficiently and minimizing overtime,” says Henning Jørgensen.

Fun gimmicks gave a good start

Rosborg Denmark chose a playful and engaging approach to introduce robot technology to the nursery.

“We bought a robot arm and a gripper from MELCNC before we knew exactly what tasks it would perform. We experimented and made some fun applications, and it actually meant that the staff could see that cobots are just an easy and useful tool. For example, we programmed the cobot and the gripper to write the chairman’s name on a blackboard on his birthday, and at the inauguration of a new greenhouse, the robot handed the scissors for cutting the red ribbon to Jane Jegind, City Council member in Odense,” says Henning Jørgensen.

Facts about collaborating robots and grippers

The new generation of collaborating robot arms poses completely different requirements for the robot grippers – or rather to the tool at the end of the robot arm. What the tool is capable of doing is crucial to the chosen task. The more user-friendly, flexible and gentle the gripper is, the greater the variety of tasks that can be automated, and the faster the robot and the gripper will pay off.

To be fully collaborative, a robot product must meet three criteria: First, it must be safe for people to work next to the robot without the use of protective shielding. Second, it must be user-friendly and easy to install, program and operate. Third, the product must be profitable and efficient. OnRobot’s grippers meet all these criteria. They are available in two sizes: RG2 with a lifting capacity of 2 kg and RG6, which has an even wider grip and can handle items up to 6 kg.

While traditional robot grippers typically are powered by compressed air, OnRobot's electrical and digital grippers eliminate the tangle of cables that often are seen attached around the robotic arms, which can get entangled with the robotic arm as well as other installations. What really sets the grippers apart is that the gripper operates on the internal wiring inside the robot itself, and the gripper’s user interface and operator controls are integrated into the robot’s user interface.

 

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Packaging Delicate Herbs at Rosborg Greenhouse, Denmark

It takes great finesse to cultivate and deliver delicious, fresh herbs. It takes intelligent automation to ensure that production is efficient, competitive, and creates a good work environment. That is why Denmark’s largest producer of herbs and mini plants, Rosborg Food Holding, chose to invest in sensitive, flexible robot grippers from OnRobot to handle their plants.

The use of herbs dates back to at least 4000 years ago in Babylon. The ancient Egyptians and Greeks developed and refined the cultivation of herbs for use in the emerging medical sciences and as culinary delights. In the 21st century, robotics technology is increasingly contributing to the taste, smell and freshness of our food.

Inside the 120,000 square meters of greenhouses in Odense, Denmark, mint, dill, tarragon, miniature roses and other small delicate plants grow in an advanced production facility equipped with state-of-the-art technology. A total of 130 employees produce, pack,  manage and sell 28 million herb plants and 12 million mini flowers annually under the product names Gloria Mundi, Økologihaven and Eurostar plants. To accomodate a growing demand and a wide range of products, as well as seasonal fluctuations, they streamlined and automated their production line.

Reducing monotonous work

"We are continuously working to improve the productivity and efficiency of our processes. The automation solution we implemented relieved our employees of monotonous, physically demanding tasks that they would prefer to avoid anyway. Robot technology also helps us reduce the amount of overtime and temporary workers we need,” says Henning Jørgensen, Partner and Operations Manager, Rosborg Food Holding.

The Danish nursery has produced spices and mini flowers for both retail and restaurants since 1980. In 2013 a new owner began the process of radically modernizing the company’s entire production. The new owners invested 37 million Danish crowns in new high-efficiency greenhouses equipped with automation technology and robots. At the same time, Rosborg expanded its range of products to meet the growing demand for herbs not traditionally used in Scandinavian cuisine. In addition to robots and employees, they also employ 10 different kinds of beneficial insects, which eliminate pests on the plants in the greenhouses naturally.

Robot hand with fingertip sensation

One of the latest investments in automation is a flexible packaging line featuring a cobot from Universal Robots, fitted with an RG6 gripper from OnRobot. The two “fingers” of the robot gripper have built-in intelligence and advanced technology that mimics the way humans instinctively use our sense of touch when we grasp things and move them.

The automated packaging solution is so intuitive to use that staff without robot experience easily can switch the solution to packing other types of products by changing settings on the robotic arm’s touch screen. The RG6 robot gripper’s software is installed in the robotic arm similar to how you install an app on a smartphone.

“We were looking for a gripper to lift herbs and flowers gently without squashing them. We chose an RG6 gripper because of its wide and gentle grip, as well as its ability to be precise and flexible. Our new solution with the cobot and gripper automates the task of folding cardboard boxes and placing cut herbs into the boxes. We were looking for a quick return on investment. We already have our next project lined up which is to buy another cobot and gripper to feed a cutting machine that cuts the herbs. The arm and gripper will locate and gently grab the plant, then turn to place them on the line to the cutting machine,” explains Henning Jørgensen.

 

Find an Automation Expert Near You >>

 

Seasonal fluctuations made profitable with robots

Henning Jørgensen sees a huge potential for Rosborg to use several collaborative robots and grippers, i.e., “robotic arms and hands” because the ROI is so quick.

“We want to ensure a larger surplus capacity for daily operations, so that we can also double our production in peak season, during Christmas, New Year's and Easter, without losing profits on paying overtime or for extra temporary workers. As it is today, our earnings shrink during large production periods. Employees in production are also very positive about the prospect of collaborative robot technologies helping them produce more efficiently and minimizing overtime,” says Henning Jørgensen.

Fun gimmicks gave a good start

Rosborg Denmark chose a playful and engaging approach to introduce robot technology to the nursery.

“We bought a robot arm and a gripper from MELCNC before we knew exactly what tasks it would perform. We experimented and made some fun applications, and it actually meant that the staff could see that cobots are just an easy and useful tool. For example, we programmed the cobot and the gripper to write the chairman’s name on a blackboard on his birthday, and at the inauguration of a new greenhouse, the robot handed the scissors for cutting the red ribbon to Jane Jegind, City Council member in Odense,” says Henning Jørgensen.

Facts about collaborating robots and grippers

The new generation of collaborating robot arms poses completely different requirements for the robot grippers – or rather to the tool at the end of the robot arm. What the tool is capable of doing is crucial to the chosen task. The more user-friendly, flexible and gentle the gripper is, the greater the variety of tasks that can be automated, and the faster the robot and the gripper will pay off.

To be fully collaborative, a robot product must meet three criteria: First, it must be safe for people to work next to the robot without the use of protective shielding. Second, it must be user-friendly and easy to install, program and operate. Third, the product must be profitable and efficient. OnRobot’s grippers meet all these criteria. They are available in two sizes: RG2 with a lifting capacity of 2 kg and RG6, which has an even wider grip and can handle items up to 6 kg.

While traditional robot grippers typically are powered by compressed air, OnRobot's electrical and digital grippers eliminate the tangle of cables that often are seen attached around the robotic arms, which can get entangled with the robotic arm as well as other installations. What really sets the grippers apart is that the gripper operates on the internal wiring inside the robot itself, and the gripper’s user interface and operator controls are integrated into the robot’s user interface.

 

Find an Automation Expert Near You >>

Privacy Policy for processing and protecting personal data

This data protection policy applies to OnRobot.

The purpose of the policy is to ensure and document that OnRobot protects personal data in accordance with the rules for processing of personal data. The policy will also contribute to OnRobot providing information about its processing and use of registered personal data.

The policy will be reviewed each year.

Record of the processing of personal data

OnRobot processes personal data about:

  • Employees

  • Customers

  • Suppliers

  • Applicants

OnRobot has prepared a record of the processing of personal data. The record provides an overview of the processing for which OnRobot is responsible.

The personal data must be provided in order for OnRobot to enter into employment, customer and supplier contracts.

Purpose and lawfulness of the processing

Personal data are processed and archived in connection with:

  • HR management, including recruitment, hiring, dismissal and payment of salary

  • Master data for customers as well as orders and sales

  • Master data for suppliers as well as requisition forms and purchases

  • Contracts

Processing is legal by the authority specified in the appended record.

OnRobot does not use the personal data for purposes other than those listed. OnRobot does not collect more personal data than necessary to meet the purpose. 

Storage and erasure

OnRobot has introduced the following overall guidelines for storage and erasure of personal data:

  • Personal data are stored in physical folders.

  • Personal data are stored in IT systems and on server drives.

  • Personal data are not stored for longer than necessary to meet the purpose of the processing.

  • Personal data for employees are erased five years after employment has ended, and personal data about applicants are erased after six months.

Data security

Based on the appended risk assessment, OnRobot has implemented security measures to protect personal data:

  • Only employees with a work-related need to access the registered personal data have access to the data, either physically or via IT systems with rights management.

  • All computers are password protected and employees may not disclose their passwords to others.

  • Computers must have firewall and antivirus software installed, which must be updated regularly.

  • Personal data are erased securely in connection with phasing-out and repair of IT equipment.

  • USB flash drives, external hard disks, etc. containing personal data must be stored in a locked drawer or cabinet.

  • Physical folders are placed in a locked office or in locked cabinets.

  • Personal data in physical folders are erased by shredding.

  • All employees must be instructed in what to do with personal data and how to protect personal data.

 

Website and Cookie

  • The Personal Data Regulation allows you to treat personal data only legally for the purpose for which they have been collected. If you want to use data for purposes other than the original, you must always have the consent of the registrant.

  • Upon receipt of a business card from a customer you have his consent. If you write his information you need his signature on this paper to have a formal requirement for consent if you want to use his information. Then the customer allows OnRobot to use his data for purposes other than communication, upcoming promotions, product updates or further news including upcoming promotions, product updates and further news.

  • According to the Cookie Act, OnRobot must have the user’s consent to use this software on the user’s equipment. On The company’s intranet or similar closed group, the rules in the E-data protection directive do not apply.

Disclosure

Personal data about employees may be disclosed to public authorities such as the Danish Customs and Tax Administration and pension companies.

Processors

OnRobot only uses processors if they are able to provide the required guarantees that they will implement appropriate technical and organisational security measures to comply with personal data law. All processors must sign a processor agreement before processing commences.

Rights                                                                      

OnRobot safeguards the rights of data subjects, including the right to access, withdrawal of consent, rectification and erasure and will inform the data subjects of OnRobot’s processing of personal data. Data subjects are also entitled to appeal to the Danish Data Protection Agency.

Personal data breach

In case of personal data breach, OnRobot will report the breach to the Danish Data Protection Agency as soon as possible and within 72 hours. The manager is responsible for this reporting taking place. The report will outline the breach, the groups of persons affected and the impact the breach may have on these persons and how OnRobot has remedied or intends to remedy the breach. If the breach entails a high risk for the persons about whom OnRobot processes personal data, OnRobot will also notify these persons. OnRobot s will document any personal data breach on an access-controlled drive.

Erasure of data

The customer should assess when personal data need to be erased by asking the question:

When is it no longer necessary to store the personal data?

OnRobot follows the practice of the Danish Data Protection Agency:

Applications Are erased after 6 months in connection with job interviews. Unsolicited applications are erased immediately.
Employee data Are erased 5 years after termination of employment.
CCTV surveillance Is erased after 30 days.
Telephone conversations Are erased immediately or after up to 3 months.
Accounting records Must be stored for 5 years from the end of the financial year.