Optimised material flow management – Start the presses - Case Study

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Courtesy of HSM GmbH + Co. KG

To provide the best light for people and the environment is the aim of Zumtobel Lighting GmbH. Established more than 60 years ago, the company from Dornbirn in Austria develops and manufactures high quality, individual lighting solutions for customers all over the world. The sustainable use of resources is an important factor for the company, not only with regard to its products, but throughout all areas of the business. For example, in the disposal of packaging material from the assembly division for office and special lighting, two vertical baling presses from HSM improve the material flow management.

Zumtobel Lighting GmbH is part of the Zumtobel Group which has 7,456 employees worldwide and is represented in over 70 countries. The Zumtobel Group has three brands: Zumtobel, Thorn and Tridonic. In cooperation with leading international lighting planners, designers and architects, the Zumtobel brand serves the premium segment. A substantial amount of development is invested in the customised lighting solutions and – as in the case of the assembly division for office and special lighting – frequently also a great deal of manual labour. In this division, 200 employees manufacture about 2,000 lights a day. The head of the division, Robert Jehly, sees material flow management as a particular challenge in this regard: “At our location in Dornbirn, the lighting components supplied to us generate about 380 tonnes of cardboard packaging for disposal annually. We want to recycle this packaging as efficiently as possible.” Merely collecting it does not achieve this.

Optimising material flow management by avoiding detours.
Prior to the acquisition of the two HSM VPress 860 L baling presses – the first arrived in Spring 2012, the second at the beginning of 2013 – the assembly employees collected the old cardboard packaging in palboxes. Once the boxes which each held about 25 kilograms of packaging material had been filled, they were taken by fork lift into the recycling material store and the cardboard was stored temporarily in a press container until the disposal company collected it.

“In view of the amount of cardboard packaging involved, we had a lot of fork lift traffic,” Jehly says. Today, the cardboard waste is compressed directly on site in the assembly division without taking any detours. The employees bring it in small containers to two centrally positioned baling presses instead of to palboxes. These compress the cardboard with a pressing power of 532 kilonewtons into compact bales with a weight of about 450 kilograms, which are only then taken into storage by fork lift. Whereas previously 18 trips to the store were required for this amount of old cardboard packaging, now one suffices. “This is not only clearly more efficient,” Jehly says, “but is also a huge gain for the safety of the division. Every fork lift trip we don't have to make is a relief.”

Sustainability makes sense.
Through the vertical baling presses, the assembly division saves fork lift trips, working time, storage space and palboxes. Furthermore, more profits are generated. This is because, in contrast to the contents of the press container, the wire-strapped cardboard bales are already a valuable product ideally processed for the paper factory. The bales from Zumtobel go to the Rondo-Ganahl paper factory which – to close the loop – in turn supplies the packaging material required by Zumtobel. The paper factory pays a higher price per tonne of old cardboard packaging than it used to. Simply because the compressed bales can be recycled without any further processing. “All in all,” Jehly calculates, “we have reduced our costs by more than 10,000 Euros per press per year.” The investment in the two V-Press 860 L HSM presses will be quickly amortised.

The employees accept the technology
As to the question why Zumtobel decided on the baling presses from HSM, Jehly has four answers: “Firstly, HSM has a good reputation and is located near us. This is important to us.

Secondly, we liked the V-Press 860 L because its special compression technique makes it possible for the bales to be transported without pallets or on non-standard pallets. Thirdly, due to the compact construction of the presses, we remain flexible in respect of where they are placed for operation. And last but not least, the test phase established that our employees were able to use the technology with ease and accepted it.” This is an important aspect because everyone in the division fills the baling presses. They are easy to operate. Trained staff are only required for strapping the cardboard bales. In addition, during the 6-week test phase, the safety systems and sound protection were adapted to meet the requirements of Zumtobel. Robert Jehly is extremely satisfied with the entire spectrum of services provided by HSM from the sales staff through to its customer service. He believes that in future, other production divisions in Zumtobel will invest in cardboard baling presses.

The facts

The company
Zumtobel Lighting GmbH, based in Dornbirn in Austria, is a multinational enterprise. It has a reputation worldwide for high quality, customized lighting solutions. The company is part of the Zumtobel Group which has 7,456 employees.

The task
In the assembly division for office and special lighting, 200 employees manufacture around 2,000 lights a day. Until 2012, the cardboard packaging of the components from suppliers was collected in palboxes, which were then individually transported into a recycling material store and put into a press container which was collected by a disposal company. A palbox holds approx. 25 kg of uncompressed cardboard. Consequently, frequent trips by the fork lift to the store were required.

The solution
In spring 2012, Zumtobel decided to purchase an HSM V-Press 860 L baling press. Since then, the cardboard packaging has been compressed directly in the assembly division into bales weighing approx. 450 kg. Only then are the bales put into storage to await final delivery to the paper factory, Rondo-Ganahl. A second baling press was installed in the division in 2013.

The advantages

  • The baling presses have increased the efficiency and safety of the division.
  • Filling the presses is simple and safe.
  • The compressed bales can be transported without palettes or on nonstandard palettes.
  • The compressed bales generate additional income as valuable products already perfectly processed for the use in the paper factory.
  • Due to their compact construction, the operational location of the presses can be selected and changed as required.

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