As an existing customer with a 2800 bag/hour VENTOMATIC® packing and palletizing line in operation for more than 20 years, Cementi Costantinopoli returned to us for this state-of-the-art expansion project, which adds capacity to pack 5000 bags/hour of 25 kg.
“We chose to return to FLSmidth not just because we were happy with our existing equipment, but also because they tick a lot of boxes for us. The new line is highly automated and incorporates the kind of Industry 4.0 technology we want to see in the plant. We also knew that we would receive excellent after-market service from FLSmidth – and that they could deliver on our very short schedule.”
High capacity, quick delivery
Cementi Costantinopoli ordered the new line in July 2019 and wanted it delivered by December 2019, so it was a tight turnaround.
“Thanks to the excellent cooperation between our team, our sub-suppliers and the customer, we were able to deliver a complete packing and palletizing line for 5000 bags/hour within the short timeframe given,” says Nedim Huric, Product Sales Manager ENAR, FLSmidth. “This includes the VENTOMATIC® VENTOFEED, an automatic de-palletizer for empty bags, as well as the palletizer VENTOMATIC POLIMAT® with pallet-less system, which prepares stacks of bags for transport without a pallet. In the end, the line went into operation later than expected due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but we met all our deadlines for delivery.”
Despite the impressive capacity of this line, the footprint is very compact. We have used all our knowledge of the packing and palletizing processes to reduce the length of the line as far as possible without affecting performance.
The ability to choose different palletizing options – with or without pallet – enables Cementi Costantinopoli plant to be flexible to their customers’ needs and different means of transportation, all the while ensuring that their products reach their customers in optimum condition. Palletless stacks are completely waterproof, so can be left out in the rain or transported out in the open with no problem. In addition, the palletless system enables the cement manufacturer to avoid the cost of wooden pallets, which have a limited life and are often not returned.
Automation was an important highlight of this project, since it frees up operators to take care of other tasks and reduces the risk that comes with the interaction between humans and machines.
“Our new VENTOFEED de-palletizer saves our operators a lot of time. Empty bag handling is usually an area that is quite labour-intensive, but with this advanced system we only need to load empty bags once every 5 or 6 hours of production, so our team can concentrate on other important jobs, such as maintenance and cleaning. This also keeps them out of harm’s way compared to manual systems – an important factor for us”
Automation also serves to make the line more productive – boasting one of the biggest capacities of any 25 kg packing line on the market – and more reliable. Digital technologies are easier to customise, and so for this line we have designed a customised production recipe for each product and bag type. The line also benefits from an optimised fluidization system and consolidated filling technology to ensure optimum filling accuracy. The customer also has the possibility to add a customised nozzle based on the type of product and/or the bag’s valve.
Industry 4.0 ready
“Every piece of equipment in the line connects to our control system. We could operate it fully remotely if needed. It’s also very easy to use, which is helpful when bringing in new or inexperienced staff members.”
“One of the things we wanted to achieve when adding this line was a smarter system that takes advantage of Industry 4.0 technologies”
“All in all, we are very happy with the new line, which gives us the significant capacity increase we want with the advanced capabilities we need,” says Orlando Rabasco, Cementi Costantinopoli.
“We are grateful to FLSmidth for ensuring the smooth running of this project, in spite of the obstacles.”
In this project, digitalization was a key consideration during the upgrade. In fact, Cementi Constantinopoli had already upgraded their process control system in 2019 to FLSmidth ECS/Process Expert (PXP). This system enables the plant to get more out of their equipment through the advanced capabilities of data-driven process control. Using real-time automated calculations, ECS/Process Expert takes cement plant operations to the next level, eliminating the potential for operator error and enhancing process efficiency, performance and sustainability. Cementi Constantinopoli quickly saw the benefits of digitalization. Antonio Romano elaborates:
“We are very satisfied with the PXP project. We have increased production by more than 10% on the kiln, cement mills and ATOX Mill. In the contract, FLSmidth guaranteed 2-3%, so 10% is a great result. Furthermore, now all actions are controlled by PXP, like cleaning the tower, stopping the Mill, and other things, we have removed the potential for operator error. This is a second big result. Now the operators must check just a few parameters, so it’s easier for them to drive the kiln, raw mill and cement mill.“
A more efficient system is also a more sustainable system. The plant has reduced fuel consumption by 7%, achieving a reduction in emissions and costs. Cementi Constantinopoli is seeing the benefits of a digitalized process – and the potential for further fuel and energy savings across the plant.