Robot refurbishment program keeps the tea and coffee flowing for Dutch Jacobs Douwe Egberts

2016-10-14 - A proactive, cost effective and fast response helped roasting giant Jacobs Douwe Egberts avoid disaster and ABB keep a key account.


“ABB has carefully guided our refurbishment process from beginning to end, they are great to do business with and in them we see a partner who understands our needs and acts in a proactive way,” says Stef Jonkman, Head of Maintenance, Jacobs Douwe Egberts, Joure, the Netherlands.


The European coffee and tea roasting factory of Jacobs Douwe Egberts sits in the Dutch village of Joure, located close to the ‘Eleven Cities’ key trade route. Since its founding in 1753, the company has grown to more than €5 billion in annual revenues, and exports coffee and tea for households, coffee systems and coffee shops in over 100 countries. In its product portfolio we find well-known brands like Douwe Egberts, Gevalia, Jacobs, Kenco, L’OR, Moccona, Pilao, Senseo and Tassimo.

The Joure plant has two hardworking ABB IRB640 palletizing robots, a 1999 installation involved in tea production and the other from 2003 in the coffee department. At the time of this story, the robot in the coffee section was covered by a service agreement while the robot in the tea section was not. One of the gearboxes of the IRB640 robot in the tea section had been backlashing, which in the past had led to a long unscheduled stop. To prevent that from happening in the future, ABB contacted Jacobs Douwe Egberts and proactively offered a Premium refurbished IRB640 robot to resolve the issue in the tea producing section of the factory. However, the offer was turned down as the customer was also considering replacing the two ABB robots with a competitor’s robots, which were used in other parts of the factory.

While the customer was evaluating other options, the issue had escalated with the IRB640 robot, which was now running at 50% production speed which jeopardized the entire tea production line. ABB was now asked to resolve the issue, even though the robot was without a service agreement.

“Given the history and the acute situation, I decided to visit the plant,” said Tijn van Pelt, Service Sales Specialist, ABB the Netherlands. “On-site repair of the IRB640 was not an option as it would have meant a longer production stop. Instead the customer decided to purchase a Premium refurbished IRB640, for a fast and cost-effective solution. Then just before delivery, the original IRB640 robot stopped completely, after which the customer asked for an even faster delivery.”

ABB’s Repair and Reconditioning Center in Ostrava, the Czech Republic was able to shorten the delivery time by almost one week. ABB performed the IRB640 exchange and production start-up in one day without any delay to meet the stringent customer demands.

“Jacobs Douwe Egberts was very satisfied with ABB’s performance and ordered a 24/7 service agreement for the IRB640 robot in the tea department, including recommended spare parts, plus another Premium refurbished IRB640 robot for the coffee section. The next step will be an IRC5 controller upgrade of their S4C controller in the tea section, followed by an upgrade of the S4C+ controller in the coffee section,” says Tijn enthusiastically in closing.

“ABB has carefully guided our refurbishment process from beginning to end, they are great to do business with and in them we see a partner who understands our needs and acts in a proactive way,” says Stef Jonkman, Head of Maintenance, Jacobs Douwe Egberts, Joure, the Netherlands.

Thanks to ABB’s proactive, fast and cost effective solution, the coffee and tea production of Jacobs Douwe Egberts will continue unhindered for years to come. Success factors include knowing both your customer and the installed base very well, coupled with staying in touch with both customers and your service colleagues no matter what.

About Jacobs Douwe Egberts
Jacobs Douwe Egberts is a global coffee and tea company, serving consumers in more than 100 countries via brands including Jacobs, Tassimo, Moccona, Senseo, L’OR, Douwe Egberts, Kenco, Pilao and Gevalia. With an international workforce of approximately 12 000 and more than €5 billion in annual revenues, the company has a leading position in over 18 countries across Europe, Latin America and Australia.


Refurbishment benefits:
  • Increased reliability, availability and performance
  • Get the latest technology
  • Reduced life cycle costs
  • Compliant to the latest safety standards
  • Avoid obsolescence of equipment
  • Fast cost-effective solution
  • Reduced cycle time




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