Marcheluzzo modernizes Wienerberger’s plant in Terni, Italy

Having installed and commissioned a state-of-the-art plant for the Wienerberger Group at ­Durtal (France), Marcheluzzo Impianti was contracted by the Wienerberger Group to modernize its plant in Terni, Italy. Marcheluzzo Impianti was involved in updating the following zones:

› new cutting line and new robotized setting line for the green products

› updating of the existing loading and unloading line for pallets with an additional pallets storage unit

› new robotized setting line for the kiln cars

Impressed by the reliability of the plant engineering company, the Wienerberger Group contracted Marcheluzzo to realize the technical specifications for the new cutting line. Thanks to its many years of experience in this field, Marcheluzzo Impianti could promptly present an optimum integrated solution – from the cutter up to kiln car loading. The supplier has applied for patent for this new market launch equipped with innovative elements. This opens up new applications that the client had never imagined or expected.
The modernization work could be realized in a very short time, within the scheduled installation time of three months. This was thanks to the close cooperation between supplier and client and the good coordination between the two teams from the management executives to the shop-floor workers.

The project goal was the development of plant permitting easy access for maintenance and inspection, complying with the safety standards. As Wienerberger attached great importance to the gentle handling of the green products, Marcheluzzo Impianti developed and realized a new handling and transport line in which the green products are transported exclusively on belt conveyors. To ensure a clean and correct cut for raw materials with porous components, a great deal of know-how went into the cleaning of the cutting wires and the design of the inclination and moving of the wire. Despite the high technical requirements, Marcheluzzo Impianti succeeded in devising a cutter that ensures a perfect cut for all 50 (and more) products.

With the same care, Marcheluzzo Impianti developed fully automatic programming for the robot-controlled loading of the dryer pallets. Thanks to the automatic electronic checking of the spacing between the different products and the automatic discharge of waste with conveying of this waste to the double-shaft crusher (also a Marcheluzzo machine) in the new raw material preparation line, no manual intervention by the operatives is necessary.

The advantages of the plant are that the dies can be adjusted without the return belts being obstructed or reject products being set on dryer pallets.

The setting robot can be equipped with three different types of grippers that pick up the products very gently and set them down precisely in the pre-set position on the pallets. The grippers can be changed in semi-automatic mode and the reserve grippers are normally stored on a separate transfer car so that they can be easily removed from the safety and working zone of the robot. The grippers have a special connection system for the rapid substitution whenever needed.

All of the applications realized by Marcheluzzo Impianti allow the Wienerberger Group to satisfy the requirements of its market by offering a wide range of high-quality products. In response to the wider product range, Marcheluzzo installed a pallet storage unit in which surplus pallets are stored while larger products are manufactured. This ensures that the green production line is more flexible in respect of the dryer line. The efficiency of the entire plant is improved by the possibility of being able to change over the product or perform maintenance work at any time.

The stacks of pallets are transferred in a special tunnelling system (known as the “mole”) that Marcheluzzo Impianti has already tested in many other plants. It is very rugged and requires very limited space.

In the unloading and setting zones innovative solutions were integrated for the programming of the modules and for feeding the two loading robots. The dried products are handled with the greatest possible care to ensure high-quality finished products. The kiln cars are loaded by two robots with grippers designed by Marcheluzzo. These are capable of setting all the different types of products according to the different setting patterns. Here too Marcheluzzo has harmonized the technical requirements with the requirements of the firing process. So despite the many different types of products to be fired, a very consistent quality standard is guaranteed. Here too Marcheluzzo ensures the highest efficiency with minimized labour requirement for control and maintenance of the plant.

The plant has been equipped with a belt conveyor to remove waste and scrap to avoid any intervention for cleaning under the conveying lines for the dried products. Depending on the set programme, these belt conveyors are activated for removal and collection of the waste and scrap at a suitable area outside the production facility.

The whole plant has been designed and installed in compliance with the latest safety standards and in some areas according to even stricter guidelines. All machines were tested and immediately met all contractually agreed parameters without the need for any major modifications during commissioning and start-up.

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