As a single-source provider for filling, palletising and packaging technologies, we support our customers with sustainable solutions from a single source. We installed the entire line, and our specialists integrated the machines and systems using intelligent automation and linked them efficiently. Calucem needed compact systems that work efficiently, require little maintenance and can be operated intuitively and easily by the employees.
Entire line from one single source
Instead of a turbine filling machine, which is typically used in the cement industry, a pneumatic filling system was used to allow for a quick material change without any loss.
Calucem d.o.o. is one of the leading suppliers of calcium aluminate cement that is sometimes also referred to as high-alumina cement. It is resistant to high temperatures, chemical substances and corrosion. Due to these properties, it is used in the refractory industry, foundries, kilns and combustion chambers as well as in the building industry. Calcium aluminate cements can be found in rapid repair mortars, ceramic adhesives and sealing material. This hydraulic binder is also particularly important for refractory concrete. It influences the rheology, the setting characteristic, the sifting properties and the chemical resistance.
Our solution: compact, low in maintenance and energy-efficient
Calcium aluminates are produced when limestone or bauxite is burned in furnaces at temperatures above 1,500 degrees Celsius. After manufacturing, these different mixtures are ground, filled into bags, then palletised, packaged in film and transported to customers and retailers.
Until then, Calucem had used systems that were high energy intensive and high in maintenance. Calucem employees were responsible for changing the filling system from one cement mixture to another, which was never a trouble-free process. Depending on its composition, the material can be more fine or coarse. After a mixture change, large amounts of dust were generated, meaning material was lost.
Filling to packaging from one single source
„We needed a supplier who we could develop a solution with for our particular product.“
Air instead of turbine filling machines
The cement industry normally uses turbine filling machines. They are particularly suited for free flowing products, such as cement. But in order to guarantee loss-free filling of varying compositions, our technicians installed a BEUMER fillpac® filling machine with two spouts that operates according to the air filling principle. This particular material can be finer than regular Portland cement, but it can also be pulverised or gritty.
The BEUMER fillpac® is therefore equipped with calibration-capable weighing equipment. This electronic weighing ensures exact filling degrees for the BEUMER fillpac®. Special software supports permanent communication between the balance and the filling spout.
The product is then transferred through a rotary flap into the filling boiler. The ventilation of the boiler floor and of the upper part of the boiler can be regulated separately, which guarantees a continual product discharge. It creates a steady product flow with minimal compressed-air consumption. A special filling nozzle is equipped with a vent duct and an ejector that operates in cycles, extracting air from the bag during filling. After each filling process, the filling nozzle is cleaned by air pressure. This prevents the filled bag from being soiled. The quantity of the conveying air can be adjusted separately, depending on the product.
Space-saving, reliable and energy-efficient palletising solution
Calucem needed a compact and energy-saving solution for the fully automatic, efficient and above all, fast palletising of the bags. As a single-source supplier, we provided the fully automatic BEUMER robotpac®, solving complex palletising and de-palletising challenges reliably and efficiently. It distinguishes itself through its remarkable precision and availability, as well as its gentle product handling. An ultrasound system ensures the precise measurement of the bags before they are palletised. This way, the position of the item can be exactly calculated and the bags can be placed precisely and gently. The precision guarantees an optimal stack configuration. This ensures that the stack remains stable during shipping and storage.
The BEUMER robotpac® palletises up to 600 bags per hour. Two gripping tools are used: a suction gripper, that places a paper sheet on the pallet, and a fork gripper, that palletises the bags in the exact position on the carrier. The flexibility of the BEUMER robotpac® allows the customer to implement even complex processes with varying frame parameters. In addition, the robotic palletiser is very robust which ensures a secure operation even under extreme conditions. The drives work reliably, highly efficiently and quietly, which was an important precondition for the cement manufacturer.
Compact, fast and practical packaging
Roller conveyors transport the palletised bags to the packaging system. In order to keep the entire line compact and energy-efficient, we use the BEUMER stretch hood® A, our high capacity packaging system. In order to facilitate the work for the maintenance personnel and to ensure high system availability, the new packaging system no longer needs a platform. Maintenance work, such as changing the blades or the sealing bars, is now handled at floor level. The operator opens a drawer, providing free access to blades and sealing bars. Additional benefits include the compact design and the resulting low height and small footprint.
The film transport system, that is particularly gentle on the material, introduces the previously formed film hood into the system. On its way to the crimping and stretching unit, the sealing seam on the film hood cools down so that it can be crimped without losing time. Energy-consuming cooling units and long cooling times become superfluous. The pallets are packed in a shorter cycle time, which increases the packaging capacity at a lower consumption rate. Economical engines and a lower demand in compressed air optimise the energy balance. The palletised goods are clearly visible through the smooth surface of the transparent, highly flexible film. Film packaging protects the goods against the environment and humidity. It also substantially improves transport safety.
We also introduced our Human Machine Interface (HMI). This newly-developed operator panel with an optimised user interface and graphical navigation for operating the systems offers an even more ergonomic workflow to the user. This easily understandable and intuitive interaction concept helps to define efficient working sequences. The soft-touch panel uses pictograms to guide the user through the machine control menus. The panel also gives the operator access to all required training programs and content. The systems are controlled by a Siemens SIMATIC S7-300.