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E80 Group and Gambini presents a new fully automatic converting line at iT’s Tissue

The innovative, integrated system improves line safety, increases the efficiency of operations and even optimizes space management

To build increasingly integrated, digital and sustainable smart factories capable of improving efficiency and safety throughout the supply chain: this was E80 Group and Gambini’s objective when they developed their new fully automatic converting line and optimized the interconnectivity of tissue factory production operations. The new solution is presented at the fourth edition of iT’s Tissue, the event dedicated to tissue sector operators and technologies, held from 6 to 10 June in Lucca (Italy). iT’s Tissue is supported by Rockwell Automation and Henkel, the event’s global and main partners respectively.

A program of “Open House” events have been scheduled to introduce the latest developments and the leading innovation players right in the midst of the action: companies from a district that accounts for nearly 80% of Italian tissue production. E80 Group is a guest of the Gambini Open House in Altopascio (Lucca).

The system developed by the multinational E80 Group, who is based in Viano, Reggio Emilia (Italy) and specialized in the development and installation of advanced intralogistics solutions for industry, and by Gambini, the leading manufacturer of machinery for tissue production, combines the movement of paper reels by two models of E80 Group automatic guided vehicles with a new, Gambini-patented automatic unwinder. The solution boosts the efficiency of the supply chain by automating and integrating converting area operations, and also improves production line safety, as it avoids operators having to work with reels suspended overhead.

Parent reels are retrieved from the warehouse by E80 Group’s patented Unicorn Laser Guided Vehicle (LGV), which is specially designed for use in the tissue sector. These LGVs reduce waste and safeguard finished product quality. They can transport and lift parent reel up to 5 tons in weight and 3 meters in diameter and can form vertical stacks of up to three reels, for a total height of 9 m. Efficient stacking optimizes the use of warehouse space by up to 7% and reduces the risk of fire by minimising the “chimney” effect.

Once delivered to the converting area, the reel is picked up by the ANT Automated Guided Vehicle (AGV) and moved to Gambini’s innovative, automatic unwinding system. This eliminates all the risks associated with manual reel lifting and allows flying splices to be made without adhesive tape and without the presence of an operator, while the reel is overhanging. In addition to automatically orienting the reel to suit the unwinder, the ANT also interfaces with the Unicorn LGV to transport non-compliant or incomplete reels from the converting area to the warehouse, as well as handling empty cores.

E80 Group’s custom intralogistics solutions also optimize other supply chain operations thanks to palletizing robots specially designed for the tissue sector, pallet control systems, wrappers, robotic labellers and storage systems.

The E80 Group has already developed 350 integrated factories and installed over 2,500 robotic systems, 6,500 automatic LGVs and, since 2016, 40 automated high-density warehouses in various parts of the world. Their flagship software program, SM.I.LE80 (Smart Integrated Logistics) ensures perfect integration between systems and flows as well as total traceability of the products moved, from the entry of raw materials through to the shipping of finished products.

E80 Group solutions are also designed for ever greater sustainability in order to reduce the environmental impact of production, assembly and installation. Over the last three years the Group has cut energy consumption by 19%, production waste by 13%, noise pollution by 7% and production and assembly times by 23%. Sustainability is a value shared by all the Group’s collaborators, partners and customers. One of their customers is Roto-Cart, an advanced, Padua-based tissue manufacturer that also uses Gambini solutions. Roto-Cart is Forest Stewardship Council and Ecolabel certified for its processes and products (toilet paper, kitchen paper, tissues and Away From Home products).

Partnership with E80 Group has allowed Roto-Cart to combine its commitment to sustainability – waste reduction, energy saving and lower carbon footprint – with the construction of a fully integrated smart factory in Castelminio, Treviso (Italy). This is where, during iT’s Tissue, E80 Group organizes a tour for interested customers. The plant represents the state of the art for integration and flexibility, from raw material entry to palletizing, storage management, truck loading, and complete integration with the client’s ERP system.

Thanks to innovative technologies and in-depth analysis of customers’ logistic processes, the E80 Group anticipated the concept of Industry 4.0 back in the 1990s. Since then, the Group has developed an advanced, safe and interconnected factory model for the high-volume consumer goods sectors that are key to growth, such as food, beverage and tissue. The intralogistics solutions developed in Viano have been exported all over the world and adopted by prestigious customers’ like Papelera San Andrés de Giles in Argentina, Sofidel for its plants in the USA and Europe, and Texas Tissue Converting, a company based in Houston, Texas, to name just a few.

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