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September 11, 2013
It is with great pride that Central Conveyors announce our first complete overseas conveyor system design, fabrication and installation, for International Automotive Components (IAC) at their new Romanian manufacturing facility.
IAC are one of the world’s leading automotive components and systems makers, including interior and exterior trim. The group’s sales for 2011 were $4.4 billion. IAC operate seventy-six manufacturing facilities in sixteen different countries. The company has approximately 24,000 employees around the world, with its headquarters based in Luxembourg.
Central Conveyors were commissioned to design, fabricate and install an overhead power and free conveyor system for the purposes of moving and storing automobile dashboards. The plastic components, having been through the initial moulding phase of the manufacturing operation, needed to be conveyed to a storage area – 10 metres above the ground!
As each component was created it was then attached to overhead conveyors, being transported to a curing area prior to the next phase of manufacture. This storage space allowed for 120 dashboards at a time, and to save floor space was situated in the air. To get to this position a loading module intersects the conveyors rail, allowing components to be loaded, before being elevated via a powered tower to a second set of overhead conveyor rails. Multiple modules are employed so that as the curing process for any given group of components is completed they can be individually transported away from storage. The transportation process is reversed when the components have finished curing, and once back at ground level they continue their journey on the original overhead system to the next manufacturing phase. The elevated storage area only required a single load and unload point, so only one operator was required to manage the process.
As with all projects, particularly of this scale, there will inevitably be teething problems. Ordinarily these can be resolved in a timely and cost effective manner, but any problems with an overseas installation are compounded by geographic location and logistics. Procedures and resources you take for granted in your own locale are not always readily available, and this proved to be the case with this installation. Technically the installation was straight forward enough, but the obstacles that had to be overcome when trying to arrange spare parts and equipment hire were considerable. Logistics, availability, and the price of retaining engineers onsite while waiting proved frustrating. Whereas Central Conveyors will typically run a team of engineers daily to an installation location, or send for parts and equipment which can be delivered in hours, the time frame when overseas can often be measured in days. Equipment we take for granted in the UK, such as scissor lifts, cherry pickers and forklifts, were not only harder to obtain but considerably more expensive to hire.
The experience was an eye opener, but one we are glad to have learned from. Although difficult at the time, the overseas installation is one Central Conveyors are keen to provide again. As a company we’re all the stronger for the experience, and the lessons we have learned will be put to good use on our next overseas operation.
To find out more about waste conveyors or any of our other MFR, waste recycling and disposal conveyor systems call CCL today on 01509 816064 for an informal, no obligation chat. Our bespoke services can provide you with the exact conveyor system you require.