KB Associates is a leading solution provider in the automatic packaging industry for water, food, beverage, pharma, home care, personal care, oil, paints, and chemical products. The company offers a comprehensive range of in-line equipment for varied applications of washing, filling, sealing/capping, labeling, conveying, palletizing, and inspection.
Talking about the company, Tushar Patel, director-technology, KB Associates, said, “We have three brands- Koldpack, Bestech, and iRobolution. Under Koldpack, we deal with filling solutions for beverage industries, pharmaceuticals, agriculture, and chemicals among others. Under Bestech, we have a good brand of products for processing equipment. We recently come up with robotic solutions and that brand is named as iRobolution. Under this, we have all the technology products like robots for the handling, and packing, starting from case packers to palletizers to end-of-line solutions.”
In-house manufacturing and R&D facilities
KB Associates has a manufacturing facility in Ahmedabad, Gujarat where in-house manufacturing of critical components of machines is carried out. A quality and R&D team is also present to take care of the safety of the products. Patel elaborated, “We use certified hygienic products in our facility. For instance, to pick up biscuits and other bakery products, we use food-grade grippers. The robots we use are also certified as food-grade or pharma-grade.”
In-house R&D section, fabrication, and machine shop using the most modern machines and methods, quality control department equipped with the latest instruments, and online assembly shop among others give KB Associates an edge over its competitors.
Automation to reduce manpower errors
Patel believes that after the pandemic, automation is booming, with a lot of talk about automation and robotics. However, there is less awareness about how to utilize robotic solutions. Sharing his views on the need for automation, he said, “Our customers are engaged in quality since their products are going out of India. Manpower error needs to be reduced. That is where automation comes into the picture. After the pandemic, this is a compulsory requirement.”
KB Associates deals in primary, secondary, and tertiary filling and packaging solution which includes robotic as well as non-robotic automation. Their technology products provide customized packaging automation using robotics, vision guided ViPoCo Technology software, iGripp technology, AGV-AMR, and digitalisation including factories of the future with advanced technology systems.
The company also offers robotics plus vision-based solutions for quality checks for beverages. He explained, “We use vision cameras and specialized software to identify quality products and segregate them accordingly using robots. This is our USP. We also have dedicated software using which customers can interlink all their machines under a single platform. Using this, all the data can be centralized under a big data platform and used to improve productivity, quality, and many other aspects.”
At the recently concluded Drink Technology event in Mumbai from 7-9 December, KB Associates displayed its carbonated soft drink packing machine and glass filling machine. The rinsing, filling, and capping machine allows the safe filling of products into the glass. Also exhibited were the recently launched robotic products that include palletizers and depalletizers. These can be used for cartons, bags as well as drums to handle any products from the start of the line to the end of the line.
Looking into the future
According to Patel, Koldpack is looking forward to making more inroads into automation. He added, “Our main motive is to increase the speed of our machines and reduce our carbon footprint. We want our customers to get a good return on investment. For that, we have a separate division for automation, robotics, and quality checking in vision automation.”
Sharing a piece of advice for the company’s customers and clients, he said, “Focus on technology because India is now going to be a global market. You will get a good customer base from Europe and the US as well as from other countries. We need to change our mindset and adapt to automation and industry 4.0.”