– That we with our own staff has managed to develop a complete plant with machines and software, make me incredible proud, says Øyvind Dahl.
He has been the manager for the development project, that has been ongoing in a year and is a cooperation between Tratec Solutions at Nodeland and Tratec Norcon at Vennesla.
Behind him in the workshop a robot takes an empty bag from a rotary table, turn it around, place it on an opening table, opens the bag top and connects it onto the filling chute. Thereafter the bag is blown up, filled with 1200 kilo silicon and closed with strips – before it is lowered back to a roller conveyor where it gets a unique label while it is conveyed further.
– The plant is designed to handle 30 of these bags per hour. However, there is no problem to increase this capacity, says Dahl.
All equipment can be adjusted to handle other types of bulk material into bags with different sizes. And the bags can be filled from silo instead of conveyor.
Earlier the operator has done the packing manually. Now that is not necessary, the robot pics up the bag, mounts it onto the filling chute and fills it up in one operation. This makes the plant unique.
– THE SOLUTION CAN be used for all material that is stored in big-bags and be tailor made for each single customer. This is a totally automated plant that runs by itself without any other handling from an operator than controlling that there is enough bulk material, bags and pallets, says project engineer Vegard Tveit.
The concept is simple, and this is obvious for all people who has seen the plant demonstrated.
– An investment like this will be profitable in few years. The robot is perfect for handling of boring, dusty and heavy jobs. And it becomes never ill and needs no holiday, says Dahl.
FOR ELKEM THAMSHAVN in Orkanger does the investment mean that the number of operators working with filling silicon into big bags, can be reduced from three to one.
– The concept can be used in all industries that are using big bags for handling bulk materials. We foresee that the plant is interesting for suppliers of everything from fish feed to fertilizer, says Dahl, who already has been visited by several possible customers.
– The interest has so far been very high, he says.