High capacity and smooth flow of products
Saica (S.A Industrias Celulosa Aragonesa) is a major European producer of recycled cardboard packaging and a pioneer in the circular economy with operations in most Western European countries. In addition to paper and cardboard packaging mills, the company operates its own recycling system, gathering waste cardboard to be used as raw material for new quality packaging products.
The Saica El Burgo de Ebro mill, located outside Zaragoza, Spain, has a production capacity of 1.3M tons a year. It is made up of three machines and a coating line producing high-performance white and lightweight papers and cardboard.
In search of improved capacity and flexibility
Saica originally intended to expand its old warehouse using clamp trucks. However, an update of their production strategy from made-to-order to made-to-stock set high requirements for the roll handling capacity and storage volumes. With four production lines pushing a multitude of different rolls to storage Saica needed a genuinely smart and reliable automated storage system.
The company set several objectives for developing the project. Increasing storage capacity at their El Burgo de Ebro paper plant and transforming their supply chain model were starting points. This meant ensuring effective use of land, improvements in storage efficiency, and reducing costs. There was also a clear target of reducing costs related to using external warehouses and transporting paper rolls, as well as minimizing costs from rolls being damaged by clamp trucks with traditional handling.
With 150 rolls of many different types and sizes flowing in from four production lines every hour and up to 250 trucks reporting at the mill gate every day in random order, the storage and logistics were a challenge.
Roll handling with no bottlenecks
The TransRoll™ deep channel rack storage system was found to be the most suitable solution: The rolls are stored horizontally in a 16-level high-bay storage facility. After the completion of both construction phases, the facility will be 240 meters long and have 12 loading docks. The TransRoll storage concept gives the mill a roll handling capacity up to 1,000 tons per hour, and the stacker crane capacity is designed to meet the needs of the mill.
The huge scale of the project and size of the facility demands precise in-mill logistics. This is made possible through a Warehouse Management System (WMS), part of the total delivery by Pesmel. The system controls all roll handling and storing functions, being the brain that ensures optimal organization and operation of the storage with no bottlenecks in the mill’s material flow.
Results through automation and experience
The high level of automation is the key to success. Pesmel automated the whole logistics chain eliminating bottlenecks and enabling Saica to meet the goals of flexibility, availability, and quick service – all essential for made-to-stock production. In addition, building upwards enabled Saica to get more storage space on existing land.
“When we selected Pesmel, we evaluated their experience in the paper and metal industries,” Juan Antonio Meler Conesa, Projects Director, Saica Group explains. “We also analyzed their capabilities, not only in terms of cycles per hour and storage capacity, but also the capabilities of their warehouse management system, i.e. the system functions, monitoring, optimization, and problem diagnosis. This project has achieved excellent results.”
“This project has achieved excellent results.”Juan Antonio Meler Conesa, Projects Director, Saica Group
The TransRoll concept allows increases in capacity and flexibility. It works equally well whether the width of the paper machine is divided between three rolls or eight rolls, and it takes the same number of movements to move the full width of the paper machine.
The extremely complex building process was facilitated by the fact that Pesmel could handle the complete delivery: from conveyors, cranes, and the actual buildings, all the way to the control system software. This, together with Pesmel’s long experience of holistic system deliveries, allowed efficient project coordination.
“TransRoll storage systems are inherently flexible and easy to expand, which also makes them well-suited for construction while production operations continue,” product manager Jani Matikainen from Pesmel points out.
Pesmel TransRoll™ is helping increase:
- Roll handling capacity
- Storage volume
- Degree of automation