By Andrea Ruggiero, A.Celli, 23 March 2021
The preparation of reels bundles is an operation that requires great precision, attention and speed. This is to ensure safe packaging capable of preserving the quality of the reels during transport, to avoid the occurrence of bottlenecks in production and to fulfill orders in the shortest possible time.
The efficiency of the packaging and storage process, therefore, contributes to the optimization of the entire production process and allows for a timely response to market demands. For this reason, systems for the automatic preparation of reel bundles play a fundamental role for companies that want to obtain or consolidate a competitive advantage on the market. Thanks to the use of robots it will in fact be possible to prepare flawless paper, tissue and nonwovens reel bundles while optimizing time, space and costs.
The automatic reel bundles preparation process
Before describing its advantages, let’s briefly see how the automatic preparation of reel bundles takes place:
- The finished reels coming out the production line are transferred to the packaging line, where they are labeled and subsequently stacked by a special robot, thus forming the bundle of reels according to the packaging recipe provided by the customer. The robot will also apply the cardboard, plastic or other parts discs to complete the package.
- The bundle thus obtained is automatically sent to the wrapping area, where it is packaged by machinery called wrappers.
- In certain cases, for example for bundles of small-format reels or for warehouse management needs expressed by end customers, the packaged bundle is sent to the palletizing area. In order to stabilize the palletized bundle and preserve its integrity, a second packaging is applied.
To ensure high process automation, it is also possible to interface the robot with weighing, wrapping and labeling systems.
Regarding the automatic palletization of bundles, there are several solutions:
- Cartesian palletizer (with 2, 4 or more axes): a simple and compact system, very reliable and flexible. Ideal in case of high work intensity, where high speeds and positioning accuracy are required.
- Layered palletizer (with stacking from the top or from the bottom): a solution that involves grouping by layers and transferring the product by means of a translating platform.
- Column palletizer: allows you to build multiple columns of bundles or pallets and is useful in cases of very high products or products of different heights.
- Anthropomorphic robot: among the most versatile, flexible and fast solutions. It adapts to the handling of products that are very different from each other and is perfect in the case of confined spaces as it provides a large work area, extended to 360 °, with a minimum footprint.
The validity of each solution depends on the type of product, the packaging line (low, medium or high intensity) and the space actually available in the company. Whatever the solution adopted, automation introduces significant competitive advantages.
The advantages of automatic bundle preparation
Not only companies that handle large daily productions can benefit from the use of an automatic bundle preparation system, but also those characterized by small to medium-sized production processes.
Reel packaging requires physical effort, high precision and expenditure of time. The use of robots allows you to obtain:
- Greater speed and 24/7 operations, with a consequent increase in productivity: the result varies depending on the power and type of robot used, but on average the speed of operations is doubled compared to the use of manual work. A robot, for example, is able to process over 200 rolls per hour without the need for pauses.
- Greater safety for operators and reduction of accidents at work: a robot can move and lift the loads to be stacked on the pallet effortlessly and more safely.
- Homogeneous quality standards and packaging safety: a robot is able operate in a precise, safe and stable way; on the contrary, manual palletization is subject to possible errors which can also cause damage to the goods during transport operations.
- Flexibility and customization: a robot can be integrated with numerous components – for example grippers, arms, rollers – adaptable to the configuration of your packaging system.
To achieve maximum efficiency and order processing speed, it is equally important to evaluate the possibility of automating the entire reel handling and packaging process by relying on suppliers, such as A.Celli, able to offer integrated and customizable solutions.
A.Celli R-WAY®: the customizable Automatic Packaging system
A.Celli offers a modular, flexible and customizable system for reel handling and packaging, adaptable to any layout and any production line. Thanks to the R-WAY® Automatic Packaging System it is possible to manage the entire packaging process:
- Reel transfer from the production line to the packaging line;
- Labeling of the outer surface of each reel and the inner surface of the core
- Automatic preparation of reel bundles by means of robots;
- Bundles packing, weighing and labeling
- Possible palletization and second packaging
The A.Celli solution can also be integrated with the customer’s ERP (Enterprise Resource Planning) and is able to provide log files and specially structured access tables, in which production orders and details regarding individual reels and processed bundles will be stored.
A.Celli, among the various integrable solutions, also offers a reel data tracking and archiving system, iREEL, which allows you to keep the detailed history of the product, from the mother roll to each individual reel of finished product.
Companies increasingly have the need to increase the efficiency and reliability of production lines. Automation systems can greatly contribute to meeting this need.