The existing output line at the Recticel site in Stoke (UK) had to be converted and expanded. It was a similar stretch hood installation to the one at the Recticel site in Wevelgem but with an additional conversion of the existing line, namely:
- integration of a palletising unit that can feed wooden pallets in such a way that the packages with insulation panels can be placed on them
- integration of a block feeder for the panels that are packaged on polystyrene blocks
- integration of a stretch hood machine
- reprogramming the entirety so that all the functionalities work together
An additional challenge was having to interrupt ongoing production for as short a time as possible. This is why an IMA team was sent to the site. This huge task was finished in a short period!
IMA is not just a machine builder but an integrator as well. What is available as standard is more interesting to purchase. What we make is always unique and customised and we can integrate it seamlessly into the whole.
IMA as contractor/architect
For this order, Recticel purchased a new stretch hood packaging machine and developed the pallet stacker and the block feeder. IMA also provided the necessary conveyor belts and a control cabinet that controls and operates the entire line.
This was all integrated into the existing line.
It gave the following added functionalities:
- sliding blocks under stacks
- feeding wooden pallets
- integrating stretch hood applicator
- creating additional output and feed positions
Parts of the old line were reused and moved to fit the new machines.
Central control system
Of course, there is more to it than just hardware. The integration is not complete until all programmes are in tune with each other. IMA also integrates the control software. Our programmer ensures that all parts can communicate and that all process steps are carried out correctly, start at the right time, act, etc.
Smooth international collaboration
The fact that this integration went so smoothly is also thanks to the Recticel team who, under the supervision of IMA, helped with dismantling, moving and rebuilding down to the very last millimetre.
Project Manager Dirk: “It was during the pandemic, but thanks to perfect preparations we were able to realise everything in a minimum amount of time and travel to the UK for the execution with a limited team. First 5 mechanical engineers, then the programmers. Everything was planned from hour to hour, including testing.
A successful international collaboration!”
The multidisciplinary team at IMA was able to execute the entire process: design, welding, assembly, programming the control system, installation, testing and start-up. The client was completely unburdened. This is common in the construction sector but much less so in industry.
“The machinery (design / build) quality & overall project management is very good & give little issues. IMA are a valued OEM. A good overall opinion with our first working experience with IMA & a valued insight on how to manage any future project 2!” – Ian Dodd
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