The customer is James Cropper PLC that creates some of the world’s most distinctive and technically advanced paper products, using materials from cotton and wood to carbon fibre.
A progressive plan to overhaul the packaging department has brought about the advent of creating an innovative “Information Management System” software program at the heart of an automated materials handling and packing system using driveless trucks, known as LGVs (Laser Guided Vehicles).
In order to support a volume growth strategy, simultaneously reduce costs to the business, improve quality control and reduce health risks associated with manual handling activities, a radical change had to be made. In line with their business strategy, our successful and dynamic customer committed to a series of capital investment projects which were projected to improve production capacity on the machines. The complexity and diversity of the operations within the department has meant that this area has always been highly labour intensive with the potential to cause bottle necks in the process whenever product mix was less than ideal.
Recent advances and developments in laser guide vehicles (LGVs) combined with automatic wrapping and labelling equipment have now made it possible to automatically label, pack and stack ready for delivery into the warehouse with the use, in this particular case, of 3 LGV Fork-lift trucks, 1 LGV reel clamp truck and a strapping/wrapping line.
The LGVs recognize product by information stored in a data file associated with a bar-code for each pallet or reel. The files store all the necessary information for the order to facilitate routing, packing and labelling – from production to the ware-house.