Lamosa Group fully automates its end-of-line in Colombia with Innova Group
Total automation, Industry 4.0, efficiency, quality, greater protection, and safety for its ceramic loads were some of the objectives of Eurocerámica for its plant in Guarne, Antioquia (Colombia). Innova responded to their requirements with a complete packaging line with Stretch Hood wrapping and strapping systems installed in July 2022, which has meant a technological revolution in their final packaging.
Eurocerámica S.A.S. belongs to Grupo Lamosa, with origins in Mexico, and is the second largest ceramic producer in the world, according to the world ranking of Tile Edizioni. In fact, Eurocerámica has more than 30 years of experience in designing, producing, and commercializing ceramic tiles of the highest quality. With customers in the domestic and Latin American markets, the company’s evolution has gone hand in hand with the technological advances of the ceramic industry, as evidenced by the technological renovation of its factory in Guarne (Antioquia). For the end-of-line automation project, Grupo Lamosa chose Innova Group for its international experience with automatic packaging lines installed in the ceramic manufacturing hubs of Spain, Brazil, and Mexico.
The big step towards automation
More and more manufacturing companies in Latin America are opting for full or partial automation of their end-of-line systems. The demands of international markets and logistics chains make it essential to have automated packaging systems.
In the case of Eurocerámica Colombia, the change was quite a challenge: moving from manual packaging and complex processes to full automation. At the time, they were protecting their palletized loads by manual wrapping and placing a tarpaulin cover for protection in outside storage. The process was costly in time and resources as it went through several stages of wrapping and covering for storage and unwrapping for transport, and many reprocesses that required a solution.
Innova designed a project to replace all manual intervention and connect the packaging line to the end of the palletizing line. The aim was to reinforce the safety of the load in transport, with strapping systems, and to obtain total protection with a simple and effective system such as the Stretch Hood wrapping. In addition, the technical staff received specialized training in automated systems, since the objective of automation is not to eliminate jobs but to improve them.
Advantages obtained with automation
Eurocerámica has obtained numerous advantages with the automatic packaging line, among which the following stand out:
- Increased workplace safety: prevention of accidents caused by packaging handling and workplace conditions.
- Efficiency in the packaging process: from obtaining the exact calculation of the consumables used, to a unified process and packaging with total precision.
- Increased safety in shipment: no loss or damage to your product due to incorrect application of the packaging, and total stability in transport on difficult roads in the country.
- Better protection in outdoor storage: with Stretch Hood a single layer of film protects the product from external agents such as dust, rain, UV rays, etc.
- Better image of the finished product: brand image with completely transparent and impeccable packaging.
The packaging line installed in Eurocerámica
The project consisted of strapping securing systems, a Stretch Hood protection system, and a connection to the conveyor line, all designed and manufactured by Innova according to Eurocerámica’s requirements.
The first stage of the packaging line is Horizontal Strapping, which is used to compact the ceramic boxes and unify them with the application of the strap. Innova’s model includes a pre-strapping load compactor, which is performed at different heights to ensure greater load holding. Innova’s strapping system also incorporates an in-house developed strapping head that features technology for greater efficiency and less wear and tear.
Next, vertical strapping is responsible for joining the load to its pallet base. This is essential in the ceramic type of cargo as they tend to shift on the pallet during road transport without a type of reinforcement such as vertical strapping. In addition, compared to manual strapping, Eurocerámica gains 100% stability as the strapping is applied with precision and tension suitable for ceramic loads and adjustable according to the product.
Once the load is secured and stable, the process is finished in the Stretch Hooder. In the Eurocerámica line, a Stretch Hood Pro1-S 2 system was installed with two film reels to adapt to different pallet models and sizes and optimize consumption to the maximum.
The Stretch Hood offers a multitude of advantages to the ceramic product, the most outstanding being the unique and total protection, compared to other systems. While in the manual process Eurocerámica needed to apply stretch film and a tarpaulin for the covering, with a single layer of Stretch Hood film it covers the entire load, adjusting to the product and protecting it from external agents. Due to the barrier properties of the film itself, the ceramic product is completely waterproofed and sealed.
The total protection of Stretch Hood was one of the most sought-after advantages for Eurocerámica in the harsh rainy seasons in Colombia.
Finally, the installation is completed with a line of roller conveyors with a pallet entry station with a forklift, a pallet centering system before the strapping, a special conveyor for stretch hooding, and pallet outfeed and accumulation conveyor.
Eurocerámica’s loads are already prepared to survive rain, tropical storms, and road transport throughout the country.
Project results: control, quality, and brand image
Eurocerámica’s commitment to the automated line has been rewarded with a safer product in transport and better presentation for its points of sale. The quality of the packaging and brand image provided by the combination of strapping with Stretch Hood is superior to that of any other packaging system.
Additionally, the Mexican-Colombian ceramic group also gains greater control over its end-of-line process by having real-time information on its packaging, control over the use of consumables, and the certainty that its loads are safe and protected thanks to the most advanced packaging technologies.
For its part, Eurocerámica has transmitted to us its satisfaction not only with the project but with the installation and commissioning of the same and the attention provided by Innova. Thanks to Innova’s international technical support service, with a remote connection, and the technical team of our Colombian partner Colsein S.A.S., their packaging line is in the best hands.
For Innova, working with Eurocerámica and the Lamosa Group is more than a challenge, it is a source of pride and commitment. Projects like this encourage us to continue developing technological solutions to meet the requirements and needs of the international ceramic industry.
Thank you Eurocerámica for trusting Innova Group for your automation project!