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Twin-belt turning device brings gentle palletizing

Schwenk Putztechnik, a German maker of prefabricated mortar mixtures, recently installed new palletizing technology with an eye toward reducing time spent on maintenance, gaining more efficient production, and optimizing stack configuration with regard to storage and sales.

The paletpac system features gentle handling.
The paletpac system features gentle handling.

The single-source provider of this technology was Beumer, which supplied three high-capacity paletpac layer palletizers. Two others were commissioned recently. All of them are equipped with the newly developed Beumer twin-belt turning device, which enables bags filled with building material to be turned gently and stacked in the correct position on pallets, thus ensuring their dimensional stability. The twin-belt turning device can be rapidly adapted to various bag sizes.

Dry mortar prefabricated mixtures are composed of mineral binding agents such as cement, limestone, gypsum, sand, rock dust, etc. On the building site, craftsmen simply mix them with water and they are ready for use. Owing to the avoidance of possible mixing errors, the producer can ensure a constant high product quality of this building material. Schwenk Putztechnik GmbH & Co. KG, headquartered in Ulm, is one of the leading manufacturers of sustainable and ecological dry mortar. The company has produced its materials for more than 160 years in seven ultra-modern plants. "We place great importance on presenting our products optimally in the building material trade," says Martin Markus. At Schwenk Putztechnik he manages the plants in Eigeltingen and Allmendingen in Baden-Württemberg. As regards the manufacturing process, the company focuses on trouble-free transport, palletizing process, and packaging.

"Our previous palletizing solution caused considerable problems during the turning of bags," says Peter Richter, deputy factory manager in Allmendingen. "Due to jerky movements the bags were deformed and sometimes even torn." The building material manufacturer was not able to ensure a proper and constant appearance of the palletized bags. Schwenk Putztechnik not only wanted to achieve an improved and steady stacking result, but also wanted to increase the production capacity, reduce the dust emissions, and prolong the maintenance intervals.

During their research for a suitable supplier, the building material manufacturer found Beumer Group. The single-source provider from Beckum supplies sustainable systems for filling, palletizing, and packaging technology from one source. The leading internationally active company can look back on years of experience in the building material industry. "In cooperation with Schwenk Putztechnik we developed a solution that covers the requirements of both production plants," Peter Schmidt reports. As sales manager he was responsible for the project and has managed since January 2014 the Palletizing and Packaging Technology business segment at Beumer Group.

Beumer Group presented the high-capacity paletpac system to the building material manufacturer. This construction series makes it possible to stack bags filled with bulk material on pallets exactly layer by layer. Due to the geometric precision during layer and stack formation, stable bag stacks are formed. Beumer supplied a system able to palletize 1,800 bags per hour as well as a system with a capacity of 2,500 bags per hour. In both plants the employees can adapt the palletizer quickly and easily to different bag sizes without the use of tools. With a pack height of up to 2,400 mm, the Beumer paletpac stacks bags on any commonly used pallet size and in all technically possible packing patterns. A multi-program interface enables the user to set parameters easily and quickly. The new Beumer Group Human Machine Interface (HMI) ensures a user-friendly operation of the system. This control terminal provides the employee with an easily understandable and intuitive interaction, enabling the user to learn the system very rapidly and to define efficient working sequences after just a short training and introduction period.

"In order to turn the bags rapidly and gently to the required position ensuring their dimensional stability, the systems are provided with our newly developed twin-belt turning device. In regards to the stackability, this device offers an immense advantage when compared with conventional turning processes,” Peter Schmidt explains. The system component moves the bags without stressing them from a mechanical viewpoint. Instead, two parallel belt conveyors are used, which during the turning process are driven with different speeds to bring the bags gently into the desired position. The intelligent control of the twin-belt turning device involves the physical properties of the items to be packed in order to achieve an exact positioning preset by the respective packing pattern. In case of changes in bag sizes, all relevant parameters are registered and controlled via software. For this, the system reverts to an active control loop. The regulation of the drives is carried out by frequency converters, thus developing a gentle, regular rotation and ensuring that the bagged products are not deformed. This results in constant stack results for the whole service life of the system. Ready packed pallets can be stacked on top of each other in a space-saving and safe way.

A further advantage is that time-consuming modifications in case of changed bag sizes are no longer required. "The operator only has to enter the bag length and the bag width. Then the system brings the bag into the corresponding position,” explains Bernhard Temming, service manager at Beumer. Thanks to the modular structure, the twin-belt turning device can be quickly and easily retrofitted even in already existing palletizing systems.

A further reason for Schwenk Putztechnik to opt for the Beumer systems was their efficient operation. In addition to capital costs, operational costs, spare parts costs, and also maintenance costs play an important role. "These are better reduced with the twin-belt turning device than with other turning devices," says service manager Bernhard Temming. "The mere automated product change avoids idle times," and as the system component abstains from cost-intensive mechanical components, this optimizes the maintenance and repair costs in the long term and reduces the life-cycle costs. "Comparable solutions of competitors for the layer preparation rely on pneumatic elements with correspondingly high operational costs. In our twin-belt turning devices work is done by energy efficient synchronous servomotors," explains Temming. The relinquishment of mechanical parts additionally lowers noises during operation. Peter Schmidt is convinced that this is a strength that happens especially in the day-to-day operations, providing for an improved working atmosphere.

For this project Beumer took over the whole handling--from projection up to installation. The experts of Beumer Customer Support take care of the optimization and maintenance of the systems, therefore, they are always available. In case of acute problems, the building material manufacturer can contact the Beumer Hotline around the clock. An online connection with the machine makes it possible to carry out a rapid fault analysis. "We are very satisfied with the service. This was a further important aspect which led us to opt for Beumer," says Martin Markus.

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