Bespoke Machines

Case Study 1 – Insulation Panels

+ Requirement

We were initially approached to consider providing a proposal and support package for a large Shrink Wrapper / Tunnel to handle and wrap very large stacks of insulation panels. The system had to receive stacks automatically, square panels and pack.

+ Our Thinking

Although shrink wrap is used throughout the industry, maybe there was an opportunity to offer something new and more cost effective. Using our bank of film wrapping knowledge we decided to stand alone and offer a system that applied 3 bands of tensioned film around the stack (one longitudinal and two bands across the width).

+ Challenges

Apart from securing the stack sufficiently tight for storage and transportation, other challenges were to overcome the contraction and expansion of panels and deal with high temperatures created by the nature of the product post production. Add to this the need to secure two pieces of dunnage on the underside so that it could be easily picked up and moved by forklift truck.

+ Proof of Concept

Work with a film specialist to develop an extruded polythene film that was multifunctional; ability to stretch and seal under tension, withstand high product temperature and not fuse to the product. Once the film was sourced, we built a test rig which was taken to site to create sufficient packs to enable a transit trial to be conducted and for the pack to be approved by marketing.

+ Solution

Alongside our build partners, a bespoke system was designed, manufactured, installed and integrated within 6 months of order. It featured; product squaring device on infeed, low energy stretch sealing jaws, automatic dunnage dispenser / applicator, driven outfeed to offload point.

+ Benefits

Material saving of 35-40% stretch bands versus full shrink bag Energy saving of circa 80% eliminating need for large shrink tunnel Designed to be spacious inside main framework for easy access and maintenance Product fully visible throughout packing process Easier to unpack and dispose of packaging at final destination


Case Study 2 – Automotive Carpet

+ Requirement

PA were approached by a worldwide car component manufacturer, with an opportunity to tender for the design and construction of a large heavy-duty processing line with integral palletising, within one of its UK manufacturing sites.

The solution required complete mechanical and electrical design, sourcing key HD assemblies from third-party suppliers, weekly project management and full construction and test in situ’.

We were challenged to design, build and install a free-standing machine to accept large heavy rolls of automotive carpet material, with ability to automatically unwind, measure, cut and stack pieces of carpet on to a pallet or steel stillage, located on a low level conveyor mounted to a scissor lift.

+ Our Thinking

Although each process had been proven on existing production lines, there wasn’t a free-standing machine on the market capable of carrying out the required disciplines. Our proposal was based upon proven technology and some new thinking to give the end user the best solution.

+ Challenges

Due to budget constraints and the perceived ROI, we agreed to provide; mechanical machine design, sourcing of ancillary units, issue of bill of materials and build of machine in its final situ. The client undertook purchasing and software design in house. This way we were acting as a key contractor but were not selling a machine under normal terms and conditions. This approach added up financially and agreement was made to proceed.

+ Solution

Integration of an existing free-standing cradle / unwinding unit, material feeding system, flying cutter, automatic product aligner, pallet infeed and outfeed conveyors, central scissor lift, electrical panel etc.

+ Benefits

The unit sits stand-alone away from the main production areas, close to despatch, which has enabled the customer to process offline stock material into finished goods within hours of receiving an order.

The system has generated new business due to both smaller runs and faster lead times (and doesn’t interrupt main production). Software configuration allows simple programming of exact carpet size, quantity required and has auto job recall memory.

It can also be used as a back-up should one of the main production lines be out of commission.