Zeller Gmelin: Process optimization of ink systems
Production plantwithraw materials andfinished productsstorage system forconventionaland UVoffset inks
The companyZeller + Gmelinisa developer and manufacturerof lubricants, chemical engineering and printing inks. The headquarters of themedium-sized companylocatedinEislingen, near Stuttgart. WorldwideZeller + Gmelinis represented by16subsidiaries. Intheprinting inksareradiation curableprinting systemssegment, a specialtyof the company. Zeller + Gmelinis oneof the leading internationalprovidersradiation-curing printing inks and varnishes. Thespecial coatingsareindispensable todayfor printing onpaper andmetalpackaging, labelsandnumerouspromotional materials.
The production areafor theradiation-curingprinting systemsisto reshape
Toreduce production costsandto be able topush forwardthe steadymarket growth, theExecutive Boarddecidedin late 2012to make theproductionarea for theradiation-curingprinting systemsnew– completely. Fromincoming goods tostorageinspecialbearingsandthemetering of the componentsto bottlingthe finishedcoatings. Otherobjectives: to improvetheergonomic conditions, streamlining ofwork processesandoptimization of internallogistics.
Forthis ambitiousprojectan accomplishedpartner was sought. The project teamofZeller + Gmelincould drawthreespecialized companiesshortlistedbyEuropean-wideexploratory–companies thathave both thespecialproduct expertiseas well ason theplanningexpertiseto developsuch asystemandbuild. ThefillingGmbHdesignedfor companies in theprintingareawith high precisiondispensing equipmentthat have been developedfor the particular propertiesof the radiation-curing printingsystems.
The heatedstorage systemto themetering systemwith65high-precisionvalveAircut
Early 2013was able to startthe project. Fillingdesignedfor the planningof the entire systemfirsta 3D animationwith allstructural components: ofthe tank systemwithheatsystemvia a pipe systemto promotematerials–resins, paints, binders –until the finaldosing. Theadvantage of this method: Allproject managerscanidentify potentialvulnerabilitiesearlyand critical pointsand looking forsuitable alternatives.
For thedevelopment and implementation ofheating chamber, electrics, fuel stationandpipe systemfillingcommissionedspecialized partners. Acoreelement of the systemis thestock forthe components. To make thematerials forpumpstransportable, the bearing must bekept at a constanttemperature of 38degrees Celsius. The bearingmayalsobe exposed toUV radiationin order to preventan unplannedcuring of thecomponents.
Particularlychallengingisthe workwithradiation-curingprinting inks and lacquers, when it comes totheprecisemetering of the components–according toconsumingwas the preparation. Incommonmulti-weektrialsa projectteamof the two companiesworking ona solutionforthe optimal dosageof the products. Thisfinallytook placein thedevelopment of a standardizedAircutvalvethat isableto dose thehighly viscoussubstancesaccurately. At adosageof 1,000gramsa maximumtoleranceof one percentwas required–andachieved. The facilitycurrently has64liquid ends and oneright-installed scale. Depending on requirements,the systemcan be expanded to100meteringandan additionalscale. SoZeller + Gmelinis ideally equippedeven with growingdemandfromUV coatings.
The desired goals were more than met from the customer’s point of view. There were even additional synergies that were not foreseeable in advance. From the point of view of those responsible at Zeller + Gmelin, the goal of cost savings was fully achieved. The work was made much easier: Previously, the color in 200-liter containers laboriously brought by employees from the warehouse to production, this is done today by pumps. This means that the risk of transport accidents during operation is a thing of the past. And instead of using drums, the company can now work more economically with IBCs.
Not only has internal logistics improved, but the conversion to delivery by tanker also has positive effects in purchasing. The reliable availability of the components on the system has increased output. Product quality has also been improved because automation has made processes safer and more reproducible. Wendlin, operations manager in the ink plant, to increase the quality of service: “We are very satisfied with the after sales service. Much can be clarified directly via data line between service and production. If a technician has to come, someone from Füll will be faster and faster! ”
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