Marcheluzzo Impianti modernizes the Later-Cer Group’s Pilar plant in Argentina

The Later-Cer Group has awarded Marcheluzzo Impianti an order for the modernization of selected equipment for its plant in Pilar, Argentina. The goal of the investment was an increase in the production capacity from 800 to 1300 t/day. The conversion work had to be realized with a minimum interruption to production. Clinching arguments for Marcheluzzo Impianti being awarded the contract were the company’s reliability and application of state-of-the-art technologies in combination with innovative and customer-specific solutions.

Marcheluzzo Impianti supplied a new cutting line similar to one already installed several years ago, so the clay columns can be extruded on two parallel lines which results in better utilization of the extruders and consequently enhanced product quality. In addition, equipment for handling the green products from the two cutting lines has been also installed, based on coupled movements of chain conveyors for increasing the working speed without detriment to the product quality.

The circuit for the drying pallets has been adapted to cater for the additional quantities to be handled. The scope of supply includes a new bench for loading the green products and a new system for loading the dryer cars with a lifter equipped with forks suitable to fill up the car in just one operation. The required speed and efficiency are therefore achieved with gentle but extremely fast movements.

With a view to its new output requirements, Later-Cer has multiplied the drying lines and Marcheluzzo Impianti has supplied new pushers at the entry and exit of dryer, new motorized doors, and new transfer cars that are designed to be completely mechanical, thus avoiding all the well-known problems associated with oil control in a hot working environment. The transfer cars are designed to handle two dryer cars at a time. This increases productivity without improper acceleration or braking effects that could affect the stability of the tiles on the dryer cars. For off-loading of the dryer cars, a new machine has been installed that is similar to the one at the loading station and capable of completely off-loading the car in just one single action.

The existing setting line has been partly upgraded and integrated in a new high-performance line in where the kiln cars are loaded by two Fanuc robots each equipped with two grippers. With this development realized by Marcheluzzo Impianti, the required daily output can be achieved in the set time.

In principle, the workflow would have required the installation of more than one robot, but Marcheluzzo Impianti came up with a solution based on just one robot. In fact two robots are installed on a shared mobile platform, enabling them to be moved as required. One robot is moved in an intermediate zone for loading the entire car whereas the other one is moved to an easy access zone to enable any intervention needed for maintenance or repair, without interrupting the production cycle. All of these movements are controlled with a PLC to avoid human error.

A new completely automatic gripper has been also supplied for moving the empty pallets to storage, from where additional pallets can be removed for the cars without necessitating any change in the production schedule for the extruders and setting equipment. With this solution, operation of the extruders and loading of the dryer cars can continue for a short time even if the setting equipment is temporarily down. Or the setting equipment can keep working when the extruders or preparation machines have been temporarily halted. The existing kiln car off-loading line has been adapted by Marcheluzzo Impianti to the new output requirements: the existing car off-loading gripper has been modified with new activators in the motor groups to increase the speed. The existing packaging line has also been modified with the introduction of a new pack setter and new pack transfer system to move the stacked packs to the storage yard.

Where possible, the existing electric switch boards have been adapted to meet the new requirements, while new boards have been supplied for the new electric control systems.

The final result is a plant at the vanguard of the mechanic, electric and electronic technologies. For the entire project, which has been developed in collaboration with the technical direction at Later Cer, the latest technical solutions have been applied to strengthen the customer’s preeminent position on the market but leave scope for innovation.


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