A flexible logistics solution combines efficient truck loading and storage of palletised cement bags.
The VENTOMATIC Flying Forklift (FFL) system is a merger between two well-known technologies: the palletiser and the push-pull stack loader. It was developed after thorough market studies of truck characteristics, bag characteristics and logistics requirements.
Flexible and efficient
A palletiser feeds the Flying Forklift system, which loads stacks of bags directly onto the truck.
This enables the system to operate continuously all day long: As a truck loader when a truck is present in the loading bay, and as a palletiser when there are no trucks to be loaded. The palletised stacks are shifted by a forklift to storage, ready for truck loading.
The FFL system is designed with great simplicity and high efficiency in mind. It is easy to integrate with existing installations at the cement plant. Supported by a simple steel structure it requires no civil structures, and all equipment is installed at ground level. Operation of the FFL system is completely automatic, and only one supervisor is needed for control and monitoring. The system takes little time to install and commission as it is delivered pre-wired, pre-assembled and pre-tested.
Swift development process
It took less than a year to bring the FFL development project from initial brainstorming to final solution. During 2012 basic data and customer requirements were collected through several site visits. At the end of 2012, R&D were ready to submit a development proposal to Management who gave the go-ahead to develop the system in detail and produce a prototype. By June 2013 the prototype was ready to be tested in FLSmidth’s VENTOMATIC workshop. Since September 2013, the FFL system has been introduced to customers on several occasions and the system is now part of our standard product range.
Designed for different environments
India is an important market for the new system, because many cement trucks have fixed sides and highly varying dimensions (internal width and platform length). Besides, the industry traditionally uses non-laminated HDPE stitched bags. The latter causes a great amount of dust during the filling and loading process, which prevents using conventional automatic truck loading technology because key components suffer in this kind of environment.
In a market where equipment supplies are increasingly being regarded as commodities, it is important to focus on logistics solutions that meet customer’s specific requirements. The flexible and innovative VENTOMATIC Flying Forklift system meets all customers’ needs for efficient and flexible loading and storage.
About the AuthorMore Content by Enrico Lanzini