Logistics use the philosophy of Formula One pit stop to organize the revamping of an automatic warehouse in few days and without stopping manufacturing operations.
This is the case of Cartiere del Garda, a production facility with a supply chain of coated paper. Working without stop 365 days a year, with a delicate product such as paper, Cartiere del Garda could not afford either to block the production cycle for a long period, nor to empty the automatic warehouse of paper rolls, operated with an automatic overhead travelling crane. So, basically, everything had to be done with running operations. Therefore, the choice of doing a kind of open-heart surgery during a technical stop in August, during which an interruption of the production cycle, if respected with Swiss precision, would not have created too many problems.
Moreover, the alternatives were not so much. Cartiere del Garda had to remedy the limitations of an outdated automatic plant, which presented many problems with negative impacts on the performance of the line. The entire company’s performance was suffering the high cost of production losses, and that wasn’t anymore sustainable in terms of productivity. Given the conditions and considering the imperative of Cartiere del Garda to reduce drastically the numbers of faults and improve accuracy, maintaining the performance of the system, the intervention was organized with particular attention and planned according to a detailed trial program made shares punctually timed and wedged into one another like a puzzle.
Before the beginning of the work, we start with the design and purchase of components. To succeed with this intervention, every activity was planned in a very detailed way. Later, before the starting date of the project, the operations were repeated with the staff working in the field.
LCS has created a solution based on a general renewal, from both a mechanical and a software perspective, to increase efficiency and security by implementing:
The implemented solution represents for the Customer an important technological advancement that has allowed to obtain the expected benefits and improvements:
Ten days. This was the time that LCS had available to replace worn parts, exchange the control cabinets and cabling, change all motors, bringing them from 500 to 400 volts, to install a series of cameras, install the management and control software (WMS and WCS), replace old systems of communication cable with wireless devices and, above all, to replace the system of laser detectors that enables the system to work even with precision of 1 cm. And as if all this were not enough to make the project sufficiently “challenging”, everything was to be done within the full warehouse, without moving any stored paper roll.
Notwithstanding some problems during the dismantling of the parts to be replaced and the inevitable unexpected that happen in this type of intervention, within 10 days the automated warehouse of Cartiere del Garda is back in a top form. Its performance is even improved. The new motor controls have optimized all movements bringing the number of cycles/hour from the previous 35 to over 45. The communication from the ground to the edge of the bridge crane, before via cable, was built in wifi and, thanks to a new real time monitoring system in real time, handling activities are under constant control. Last, but not least, the category of electrical safety devices increased from wired to wireless (wifi) and at the same time increasing the level of PL (Performance Level – EN ISO 13849-1).
LCS not only renewed the system and restart it: when the revamping was completed, provided to Cartiere del Garda a detailed list of all spare parts in order to put the customer in a position to cope with the vast majority of failures and interventions of ordinary and extraordinary maintenance. In case of big problems to solve, the task would be faced by the LCS service team remotely. Cartiere del Garda has already had the opportunity to appreciate the efficiency and competence of LCS. For this reason Cartiere del Garda assigned to LCS the refurbishment of the plant supervisor of the cutting department conveying system.