Italian Compounder Upgrades Pilot Plant
Support from Coperion
Italy-based family-owned compounder Lati Industria Termoplastici S.p.A. has tasked Coperion GmbH, Stuttgart, Germany, with the pre-engineering and engineering of a state-of-the-art material handling line of a pilot plant at their production site at Torba Varese, Italy. The focus of this project is on the development of a tailor-made solution for the semi-automated and automated material handling from raw materials receiving to the extruder.
A key challenge is the broad variety of different raw materials with variable properties, which requires a high flexibility of the plant design. Quick changeover times are required to increase the overall efficiency of the pilot plant. Moreover, processes like washing, cleaning and the fast removal of the equipment to facilitate short changeover times are to be considered and streamlined from a technical point of view; quick clean solutions are needed to improve and shorten the processes. This pilot plant is a key step for LATI's factory of the future, including automation and digitalization of the entire production process.
Overall Material Handling Concept
Together with the Lati experts, Coperion developed an overall material handling concept including innovations like the new versatile multi-tasking Big Bag Empty Station BES-6 for free flowing and sticking materials with an easy-cleaning concept, modular design for flexible configuration, and a flexible interface. In addition, the scope of the project includes bulk bag unloading and weighing stations as well as vacuum conveying lines managed by a unique aspirator with air rate devices and automated raw material bins handling with weighing systems.
The material handling equipment is designed to easily interface with the existing Coperion K-Tron feeders of the pilot plant. The data exchange for raw material consumption and management in real time meets Industry 4.0 standards as well as the process optimization measures. Safety standards and ergonomics are of utmost importance to LATI and the pilot plant will be built accordingly.
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