SCA Timber is one of Europe’s leading suppliers of wood-based products, with an annual production capacity of 2.1 million cubic meters. The operations include five sawmills in Sweden, wood-processing units with planing mills in Sweden, France and the UK and distribution and wholesale operations.
SCA approached RM Group to Assist in the automation of their very labour intensive process of depalletizing 1200mmx2400mm boards applying multiple labels before restacking and strapping ready for storage and shipment to their customers. As a Company, renowned for developing quality solutions to make future-orientated construction possible, this was a challenge that RMGroup were keen to take on.
The product brief was to supply, install and commission an automatic de-palletising robot and system, capable of handling several variations of Board size and stack pattern. In addition to the Robotic handling equipment RM Group integrated a new Automatic Bocedi Strapping Machine complete with 4 corner product protection.
The RM Group resulting solution includes the following components:
- Roller conveyor system to receive full packs of 1200mmx2400mm boards ranging in thickness from 6mm-25mm presenting them to the robot for de-palletising.
- ABB Robot palletiser with multi-function head for handling boards,
- 2 x Domino Automatic print and apply label applicators
- Fully Automatic Bocedi Strapping machine with corner protection.
- Conveyor system to transport loaded packs through the strapping machine and on to the existing beam saw machine.
- Full safety guarding system including mesh guards, light guards and access gates
- Control panels with operator interface
As with every project there are unique challenges and this was no exception. With a lot of research and development RM Group worked through the challenges of the boards having a natural suction to one another due to the manufacture/storage of the boards before being De-palletised. The restricted work area and high speed requirements meant the system RM Group supplied needed to be robust and efficient with quick change over between products.
The system was fully pre-assembled at the RM Group factory for set up and testing of all formats, reducing onsite commissioning time. A detailed customer factory acceptance test was also carried out prior to despatch.
In addition to RM Group factory testing, a number of tests and pre-delivery acceptance test was carried out at the Bocedi factory in Italy. As a result, the integration and installation of the strapping machine was a smooth process.
Another really successful project reducing manual handling and improving reliability.
Malcolm George, Senior Production Supervisor at SCA Timber (UK) said:
“As part of a requirement to reduce manual handling and increase productivity we approached RM Group to offer a cost effective reliable solution to handle our range of boards.
“During the pre-building and testing at the RM Group facility we were kept informed on the projects progress and found them very willing to accommodate modifications we requested during the testing and installation process.
“We now have a successful, operator friendly system, performing reliably and fully to our specification.”