Box plant reveals £70,000 saving on stacking kit refurb

Smurfit Kappa’s Mold facility in north Wales has revealed a cost saving of some £70,000 after it refurbished a sheet stacking machine using ABB motion control equipment.

The facility turned to ABB for support after a number of servo drives on a cardboard stacking and discharging system failed.

Smurfit Kappa senior electrical engineer Phil Davies said that the manufacturer of the original equipment was unable to replace the servo drives because they were obsolete and no longer stocked.

Instead, Smurfit Kappa was offered a newer servo drive costing £7,600 per drive.

Davies said: “The company also recommended that we had a service engineer on site to oversee the installation and carry out the subsequent commissioning.

“This would have meant an investment of approximately £82,000 and require a week’s shutdown to install, had we decided to replace all of the drives in one go.”

ABB, however, was able to offer a solution to the problem that cut the cost and involved installing an ABB motion control drive called an ACSM1 and reusing the existing servo motor gearboxes.

A single ACSM1 unit was initially installed to prove that it would work before progressively replacing all the units on the stacking system.

Davies said: “We were able to install the new drive alongside an existing drive and do most of the cabling in advance. This allowed us time to commission the drive and ensures the speed of the conveyor is correct.”

He said that the project had saved around £70,000 compared to using the OEM’s solution and had allowed Smurfit Kappa to build up a stock of spare parts to use elsewhere in the business.

“As well as this, we gained a better understanding of how our machines work through a process of in house development, as well as built a good relationship, support network and trust in our supplier, ABB,” he added.

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