Cimcorp: End-to-end logistics automation
Cimcorp designs and installs end-to-end automated material handling solutions that are revolutionising tyre production and distribution facilities worldwide. Using robotic technology for handling, storage and picking and advanced control technology, Cimcorp’s systems automate material flows from the raw material warehouse to the loading dock
Through its Dream Factory concept, Cimcorp offers comprehensive logistics automation for tyre manufacturers, with total control of the material flow and precise, real-time data for production and inventory management. Although originally conceived for greenfield projects, Cimcorp has also successfully applied parts of the Dream Factory concept at a number of brownfield sites.
Tero Peltomäki, the company’s vice president of sales and projects, notes that “By automating material handling throughout the tyre plant, our solutions optimise throughput, minimise buffer stocks and make dynamic use of available space. Computer control of the whole logistics solution – including linear transfer robots, overhead gantry robots, palletising robots, AGVs, monorail transfers and automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS) – means that individual tyres can be tracked through the entyre process.”
Management of the flow of green tyres to the curing area has a significant impact on a tyre manufacturing facility’s output. Cimcorp has therefore developed leading-edge solutions for automatic loading of curing presses, as well as its innovative production control system that manages the lot sizes of the building machines, minimises green tyre buffer stocks and provides JIT supply of tyres from building to curing. In this way, Cimcorp’s automatic systems ensure 100% tyre availability to keep the curing presses operating.
After curing, tyres are collected from the presses automatically by a trench conveyor system, which transports them to the trimming area and then to the inspection process. Cimcorp’s systems provide total flexibility for the finished tyre area. With tyres stored directly on the floor, the storage area can be dynamically reconfigured to handle any combination of tyre types. Using Cimcorp’s overhead gantry robots, batches of tyres can be formed as required to feed the uniformity testing machines.
Once testing is complete, tyres are sorted by type and classification before being automatically palletised. The pallet loads are then stored fully automatically in the ASRS, from where they are retrieved to meet customer orders, being transferred to delivery trucks in route order. With rapid response to arriving delivery vehicles, fewer loading docks are required and more efficient use of truck space is possible.
In the tyre building process Cimcorp’s system maximises the space utilisation, allows the tyre factory to handle a wider range of SKUs in parallel and provides instant response to serve the downstream process.
Cimcorp’s solution for the curing area fast makes it fast, accurate and automated. The company’s robots respond instantly and integrate seamlessly with the curing buffer and the curing presses.
For the finishing area Cimcorp’s solution is fully automated, space-efficient and responsive. The system gives the flexibility to run any sequence required.
The tyre manufacturer can choose the most suitable warehousing technology for its application, considering space, operating costs and responsiveness to the picking process. Cimcorp’s system provides control throughout.
In picking and dispatch an instant response to customer demand is achieved. Cimcorp’s robots depalletise the loads from the warehouse and pick the customer orders.
tyre manufacturers will benefit from Cimcorp’s Dream Factory in various ways. Output can be increased significantly through the use of rapid automated systems, optimization of material flows and maximum utilization of the curing presses. Financial savings are achieved through several factors, e.g. through reduced WIP (Work In Process) and space savings.
Commenting on the customer feedback, Tero Peltomäki says: “Our tyre industry customers think highly of Cimcorp’s software, which integrates the machines into one entity and keeps the flow of material and data under complete control. Cimcorp’s Dream Factory automation fits especially with the vision of many new players on the tyre manufacturing market and will help them to achieve their strategic goals.”
Product quality is improved through gentle and accurate handling. Labour costs are reduced, while health and safety is improved. Control systems ensure higher availability and 100 per cent tyre traceability. Customer satisfaction is higher and error-free robotic picking results in fewer returns. Modular systems ensure fast installation, simple maintenance and flexible expansion.
The Cimcorp+ robot concept launched on the market in 2010 has been a great success. The new-generation Cimcorp+ robots, more energy-efficient, more environment-friendly and with superior performance, are now implemented in all Cimcorp applications.
The MBR700+ gantry robot is especially appropriate for the tyre industry for the buffering, sorting, and palletizing of PCR and LTR tyres. Equipment that is one degree stronger, the MBR800+, is required for TBR tyres. The MBR800+ is also a core component of plastic crate order picking systems in distribution centers.
The Cimcorp+ high-speed monorail transfer system, that optimizes the tyre production process by transporting green tyres twice as fast as before, was launched in 2015. It has been a great success in press delivery applications at many greenfield and brownfield tyre manufacturing sites.
Over the years, Cimcorp has developed special handling equipment for the tyre industry such as orientation devices, stackers and destackers.
Now all of these special products are under careful review and the development of the next generation has begun. Here too the aim is to create solutions that are faster, lighter and more environmentally friendly. Energy savings, carbon footprint reduction, recyclability and sustainability have become key values in industry today and Cimcorp+ is the company’s response to feedback from the customers.