By combining their expertise, BW Papersystems (BWP) and BW Integrated Systems (BWIS) created a solution, which satisfied customers' requirements: BWP sheeting machines with BWIS robotics technology.
Customers have been searching for a solution to incorporate sheeter and packaging logistics with automation by robotics. This request comes from a variety of industries and regions. For example, paper mills producing cut-size sheets in Asia and converters in the folding-carton industry in North America have been asking for a sheeter that uses a robot to load the material in the hopper for a more automatic (none-manual) solution.
“Following a request by the customer for a proposal for a platen cutter line with our new delivery system for beverage, the discussion regarding robotics began,” described Mike Huc, Area Sales Manager at BWP. “As a result of the new design delivery, placing the stacker in a permanent position allows for a viable solution for the robotics.”
In another solution-seeking example, Harri Pohto, Sales Executive at BWP, explained: “Japanese cut-size has been packed in a one-piece wrap-around box until now. Now, the market is ready for the international standard of a two-piece box. Our customer requested automatic handling of the case and lid blanks.”
Creating a combined system solution
BWP team members were aware of BWIS’ expertise and were waiting for an opportunity to work jointly on a project providing a complete line solution, and were in contact with Daniel LoRusso from BWIS.
Though certain elements might be common, there are customized solutions available for the different industries.
Todd O’Connor, Product Manager at BWP, explained an optional configuration: “We’ve sold the Digicut sheeter, and it sheets paper into reams. Instead of downstream equipment doing the finishing of the ream wrapping, we implemented the BWIS solution to convey the stacks of loose paper to an automated packaging system that places the loose reams of paper in a box, and then it is folded and glued shut. The robot will palletize the boxes on a pallet. All of these functions are done while utilizing one robot to do both operations: loading and palletizing the boxes. The latest Digicut was installed in May 2019, and the next implementation is scheduled for January 2020. The BWIS solution has opened this machine to a whole other market that was not available to us before.”
“We sell web-fed equipment, taking a web of printed paperboard and cutting blanks in register with the print, with a final output in the form of neatly stacked blanks, ready for the subsequent operation (folding and gluing)," said Luigi Pessarelli, Vice President of Sales and Operations at BWP. "Our customers have two choices: Deposit the stacks of blanks on pallets, store the pallets and then send them to the folding gluing department when needed, or moving the stacks of blanks directly to the folder gluers, without intermediate storage. In both cases, BWIS conveyors and robotic palletizers can work seamlessly in conjunction with our equipment.”
“The system for our customer is complex, as it palletizes a wide variety of carton sizes. The system also can rotate and invert stacks of blanks before palletizing. It will accept stacks of blanks from other lines for strapping and stretch wrapping,” described Steve Brimble, BWP Vice President of Strategic OEM Accounts.
To provide solutions for future market needs and current customers' technical and legal requirements—for example, safety, speed and interface—team members held kickoff meetings focused on improving success by precise task flow, and by decreasing risk. Andrew Turenne, Project Manager at BWP, reported: “We also conducted an onsite kickoff meeting at the customer's plant, which warranted 13 chapters of notes that have been updated roughly 37 times to ensure customer expectations were met. Through all updates and clarifications, the BWIS and BWP engineering teams professionally navigated all of the obstacles encountered.”
Adding value for customers and team members
By combining our people’s expertise across divisions, BWP and BWIS have become a one-source supplier for their customers. With their highly flexible system, including a programmable robot, there is a high potential of improvement for existing machines—by adding functions and selling them as upgrades to our existing customer base.
Thinking outside the box and exchanging knowledge with teams across divisions allow every single individual of our company to grow his or her professional skills, gain experience and extend the global network of experts.
“The BWIS team members have been great to work with. They understand our goals and work diligently to meet deadlines. I cannot say enough good things about Darren Ashton, Jason Medina, Troy Czech and everyone else," praised Andrew. "This project was very successful, from the integration of the BWIS and BWP equipment standpoint. This success was directly related to the pride in providing industry-leading solutions for our customers. The fact that BWP and BWIS are essentially brothers made it extremely easy to manage this project, even with changing customer expectations, as we already had aligned values that the customer's expectations must be met or exceeded.”
“BWIS’ knowhow in robotics, and automatic material handling and logistics, is impressive. I personally learned a lot,” added Harri.
Patrick Walczak, Senior Vice President of Sales at BWP, proudly stated: “Joining forces can help us quickly find system solutions that we would have struggled to execute without a partner. Now, we have one in the BW family!”