Handle with care
Published by David Rowlands,
The chemical and fertilizer industries have their own special considerations when it comes to packaging, and each defines its own specific requirements. To meet these requirements, BEUMER Group delivers and installs complete packaging lines from a single source and tailors them individually to its customers’ products and local conditions. To ensure that value chains can be efficiently organised and controlled, the system supplier relies on Industry 4.0. All systems in a line are networked and linked to higher level production controls. This ensures consistent, end-to-end material and data tracking at all times, and the relevant figures can be monitored online.
If pure materials and mixtures for agriculture, forestry and horticulture are to reach customers and dealers in the best possible condition, they need to be safely filled, palletised, and packaged. However, every product has different properties, so the packaging is subject to very stringent requirements. Some products from the chemical and petrochemical industries have high temperatures or unusual flow characteristics, which means that filled bags have low dimensional stability.
Manufacturers in these industries have to maintain their position in highly competitive markets in the face of rising prices for raw materials and energy. And that is precisely what these industries have in common, because they are all pursuing the goal of offering consumers high quality goods at reasonable prices. As a systems provider, BEUMER can individually design, deliver, and install entire packaging lines. Everything comes from a single source, and customers benefit from having a single contact partner. This facilitates communication during both projects and on going operation with regards to maintenance, repair, and modernisation.
Not a single grain too little or too much
When the BEUMER Group implements packaging lines, it may sometimes look like the following:
- The systems provider offers the BEUMER fillpac FFS for bulk materials from the fertilizer, chemical and petrochemical industries.
- The high efficiency form-fill-seal (FFS) system forms bags from a prefabricated tubular PE film and fills them with the customer’s products, such as nitrogen fertilizers containing amides, ammonium and nitrates.
- The bags are weighed before filling. The BEUMER fillpac FFS is equipped with a calibratable electronic weighing unit for this purpose. It ensures that the system fills each bag with the same quantity and meets the specified tolerances.
- After filling, the system seals the bags, which weigh as much as 25 kg each. The system can fill up to 2600 bags per hour.
- Bags with incorrect weights are detected by a downstream check weigher and are automatically rejected. This feature enables the packaging line to work more efficiently, because bags do not have to be removed from the material flow due to excessive or insufficient fill weights.
Stacked neatly and steadily onto the pallet
The filled bags, which come in various sizes and weights, have to be evenly stacked on pallets to ensure stability. For this task, the systems provider offers BEUMER paletpac. This system can be installed quickly, is intuitive to use, provides easy access for maintenance, and can be flexibly adapted to different packing patterns. Depending on product requirements, the system can be equipped with a clamp-type turning device or a twin-belt turning device for gentle, fast, and precise positioning of the bags.
Depending on requirements, palletised products can safely stand in the loading area or, in the case of outside storage, they can be protected from dust, rain, and other weather conditions. With the proven high capacity stretch-hood packaging system, the BEUMER Group offers an efficient solution for all industries. This packaging machine is easy, intuitive, and safe to operate. The latest feature is that the systems provider can now equip the BEUMER stretch hood A with easy-opening film. This new feature enables employees in retail stores and logistics centres to quickly and easily remove the film hood without a cutting tool when unpacking or repackaging goods. This significantly reduces the risk of injury and the amount of time involved. In addition, the company is equipping all systems in a line with the same human-machine interface. This control unit provides employees with an intuitive interaction concept that they can use to efficiently design workflows.
It goes one step further at the end of the packaging line. The system solutions from the BEUMER Group can forward the filled pallets to a connected warehouse for storage or directly to shipping. As the company’s work spans different industries, it offers a variety of perspectives. When it comes to components, the primary focus is on transport technologies, such as conveyors and vehicle-based systems. These go hand-in-hand with different handling solutions and manipulators, such as robots, buffer, and storage modules. For these solutions, the company always provides a modular system, which makes it possible to expand the solutions at any time and enables them to grow with the customer’s needs.
Software from a modular kit
In order to achieve the best results and ensure consistent material and data tracking, the filling, palletising, packaging, and other system components need to be optimally coordinated. To meet this need, the BEUMER Group has designed the modular BG Software Suite as a higher level data processing system that can be individually tailored to specific tasks. This makes it possible to easily integrate even third party products. Users can expand this solution at any time as needed and use it to optimise their material flows. BG Fusion, the cross-program user interface, displays process data and reports. All available data can be retrieved without having to switch between different applications.
Depending on the complexity of the task, some applications can be implemented on the SPS level alone. Others require higher level material-flow computers or warehouse management systems. The BEUMER Group Warehouse Control System module can be used to connect the Software Suite to the customer’s warehouse management or ERP solution via a network. With this approach, the BEUMER Group ensures communication between the different control levels. The full-service provider can intelligently link the individual systems and also integrate them into existing process control or merchandise management systems. All information from the packaging line, labelling, storage and dispatch comes together here. This ensures complete and continuous transparency of all products and processes.
24/7 online control
The BEUMER Group has also recently introduced the BEUMER Overall Operation Monitoring app. By downloading this application to mobile devices, operators or even management can maintain a constant overview of all relevant figures for the complete packaging line or individual systems. The app shows the current status of availability, levels of performance and quality, and the consumption of energy and compressed air. This ensures efficient operations at all times. The program can be tailored to meet their specific requirements. This increasing level of networking results in highly linked system structures – entirely in the spirit of Industry 4.0.
High efficiency – at all times
To ensure the high availability of these systems at customer facilities, the BEUMER Group offers international customer support from capable experts. They provide maintenance and service, supply spare parts, and conduct customer training. As part of this customer support, the BEUMER Group also offers a residential service program. This enables logistics service providers to hand over the responsibility for the availability, performance, and efficiency of their filling, palletising and packaging technology to BEUMER specialists. The full-service provider attends to customer needs with in-depth technical and logistical expertise and maintains a high level of equipment. With this service, BEUMER ensures that everything operates smoothly on site over the long-term.
Read the article online at: https://www.worldfertilizer.com/product-news/22112017/handle-with-care/
You might also like
Ma’aden emphasises importance of fertilizer industry at IFA conference
The company highlighted the role of the fertilizer industry by addressing global agricultural value chain challenges at the IFA conference in the Czech Republic.