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Calucem relies on

Calucem relies on complete packaging line by Beumer Calucem d.o.o., a member of Calucem Group and based in Pula, Croatia, is a manufacturer of calcium aluminate cements that are predominantly used in the refractory industry. The company is now replacing its previous packaging line with filling, palletizing and packaging systems of Beumer Group. A pneumatic filling system is used, which allows a quick change of material without any loss. Pula is located at the southernmost tip of Croatia. The town with its 57,000 inhabitants is known for its historic buildings dating back to antiquity. Many of its inhabitants make their living from producing wine, fishing and shipbuilding. But there is something else produced in this city steeped in history, calcium aluminate cement. Calucem d.o.o. is one of the leading suppliers of this building material that is sometimes also referred to as high-alumina cement. “It is resistant to high temperatures, chemical substances and corrosion”, explains Alfred Blažina, managing director of the cement plant. “Due to these properties, it is used in the refractory industry, foundries, kilns and combustion chambers as well as in the build- ing industry.” This hydraulic binder is also particularly important for refractory concrete. It influences the rheology, the setting characteristic, the sifting properties and the chemical resistance. “We export our cement to more than 60 countries and are the world’s number 2 supplier in this market”, emphasises Blažina. A tailor-made solution was required Calcium aluminates are produced when limestone or bauxite is burned in furnaces at temperatures above 1,500 degrees Celsius. “The chemical composition changes depending on the application”, explains Blažina. There is a growing demand for more resistant high-performance products. HiPerCem is a new addition to the product portfolio, used for the formulation of highly sophisticated refractory concrete. “The concept is based on a high calcium content, combined with an optimized grain size distribution”, explains the managing director. Additionally, there are products for conventional ramming mixes and casting compounds. After manufacturing, these different mixtures are ground, filled into bags, then palletized, packaged in film and transported to customers and retailers. “Up until now, we had used systems that were energy intensive and high in maintenance”, says Blažina. 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 MATERIAL FLOW

or coarse. After a mixture change, large amounts of dust were generated, meaning material was lost. In search of a new solution and a suitable business partner, Calucem quickly found the intralogistics expert Beumer/Germany. “Our product has very specific properties”, so Blažina. “We needed a supplier who we could develop a solution with for our particular product.” Air instead of turbine filling machines As a single-source provider for filling, palletizing and packaging technologies, Beumer Group supports its customers with sustainable solutions from a single source. “We installed the entire line”, says David Žargi, Beumer representative for the Western Balkans and supervisor for the Pula cement plant. The specialists integrated the machines and systems using intelligent automation and linked them efficiently. “The cement industry normally uses turbine filling machines”, explains Stefan Bonenkamp, commissioning engineer at Beumer. “They are particularly suited for free flowing products, such as cement.” But in order to guarantee loss-free filling of varying compositions, Beumer technicians installed a fillpac filling machine with two spouts that operates according to the air filling principle. Air filling machines are especially used in the food industry. They use a blower to fluidize the material that is to be filled, e.g. flour or cacao powder. These products can then be filled into bags, gently and precisely, “without mechanical stress and at minimal air consumption”, explains Bonenkamp. The product is filled according to the gross weight principle, i.e. the bags are weighed during the filling process. The fillpac is therefore equipped with calibration-capable weighing equipment. This electronic weighing ensures exact filling degrees for the 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. Precise and reliable palletizing solution Calucem needed a compact and energy-saving solution for the fully automatic, efficient and above all, fast palletizing of the bags. As a single-source supplier, Beumer provided the fully automatic robotpac, solving complex palletizing and de-palletizing challenges reliably and efficiently. An ultrasound system ensures the precise measurement of the bags before they are palletized. 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 is not only representative of brand quality to the end customer; it also ensures that the stack remains stable during shipping and storage. The robotpac palletizes 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 palletizes the bags in the exact position on the carrier. “The flexibility of the robotic palletizer allows the customer to implement even complex processes with varying frame parameters”, explains Žargi. Compact, fast and practical packaging Roller conveyors transport the palletized bags to the packaging system. “In order to keep the entire line compact and energy-efficient, we use the Beumer stretch hood A at this point in the line”, says Žargi. “The high capacity packaging system from the stretch hood series was given a complete redesign.” 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. Additional benefits include the compact design and the resulting low height and small footprint. A new 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. Economical engines and a lower demand in compressed air optimize the energy balance. “The palletized goods are clearly visible through the smooth surface of the transparent, highly flexible film”, describes Žargi. Blažina: “We have implemented this project hand in hand with Beumer. The result is a packaging line that is customized to our specific requirements.” The cement manufacturer was convinced of the excellent technical cooperation during the planning and development phase, as well as optimal adaptation of the systems. And because Beumer provided everything from one single source, Calucem has only one contact for the entire system. This was also very important for Blažina. “If necessary, Beumer service personnel can visit the plant to check the system and perform any required adjustments.” Photograph: Beumer Group About Beumer The Beumer Group is an international leader in the manufacture of intralogistics systems for conveying, loading, palletizing, packaging, sortation, and distribution. With 4,000 employees worldwide, the enterprise has annual sales of about 750 million Euros. Beumer Group and its subsidiaries and sales agencies provide their customers with high-quality system solutions and an extensive customer support network around the globe and across a wide range of industries, including bulk materials and piece goods, food/non-food, construction, mail order, post, and airport baggage handling. WORLD OF INDUSTRIES – INTRALOGISTICS & DISTRIBUTION 3/2017

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