With the increase of sales of high capacity full-automatic baling presses, the demand for a fast evacuation and high volume storage of bales is also growing.
The old way, with fork lifts driving the bales to the warehouse to stack them, requires a lot of manpower, it is a dangerous procedure and involves high maintenance costs of fork lifts. For these reasons, staple fiber manufacturers are interested in automating also this part of the baling process in order to save on costs.
Recently, Valvan Baling Systems provided a state of the art warehouse management solution for a major fiber producer in Europe. The main goal of the project was to store all the bales from production over a period of up to 4 days, in 1 location without any manual intervention.
The project consists of several storage areas and a bridge crane. The bridge crane can move within the bale evacuation areas of the baling presses and the complete storage area. It also moves up and down to pick up or unload the bales at the correct height. An ingenious clamp mechanism ensures the bales are accurately positioned without damaging the wrapping material. A safety system prevents bales from falling in case of loss of pressure.
The storage area consists of 16 separate secured compartments where 6 rows of 6 piles can be stored. Each pile can consist of up to 4 bales, which gives a total capacity of 2.300 bales.
The bales are coming from several separate fiber production lines with different lots, colors, specifications, etc. Our warehouse management software tracks the data on each bale in order to store the bales as much as possible per lot and color for easy evacuation.
The piles of bales are taken out of the storage areas by a lift truck. When entering the secured compartment, the crane can only pass over the zone. No drop-off is allowed at that time for safety reasons. The forklift operator needs to do a safety reset outside of the safety zone to allow storage in that area again. There is continuous interaction between the customers’ DCS system and the Valvan warehouse management software.