Process and control today | Smurfit Kappa Zedek upgrades its production line with safety services

Complete One-Stop Solution from OMRON Guarantees Improved Folder Gluer Safety

When manufacturing companies need to automate and streamline their operations, it makes sense to partner with another company that can provide a wide range of products and services. However, it is important that the chosen partner has all the resources, technical expertise and experience to meet all needs. When Smurfit Kappa Zedek, a leading producer of high quality corrugated packaging materials and displays, needed to improve the safety aspects of one of their main machines, they found the solution. ideal with OMRON Industrial Automation.

Smurfit Kappa Zedek is part of the Smurfit Kappa Group, a world leader in paper-based packaging, which has 350 manufacturing sites worldwide and operates in 36 countries. It has a total workforce of approximately 48,000 employees worldwide.

Smurfit Kappa Zedek’s manufacturing operations are based in Deventer, The Netherlands. The company, founded 60 years ago, specializes in the design and production of corrugated cardboard packaging and POS. It has a strong focus on innovation and sustainability and can produce high quality packaging in one pass, using any type of corrugated board. The packaging can be printed in full color in offset or digital printing.

A need to improve machine safety

One of the main machines at Smurfit Kappa Zedek’s production facility bends and glues corrugated packaging. This machine is over 22 years old, so it needed to be upgraded to comply with current safety standards. Huib van de Made, Safety and Quality Manager at Smurfit Kappa Zedek, explains: “In line with our philosophy of continuous improvement, we wanted to ensure that we were using the latest cutting-edge technology that can provide the highest levels of safety for our operators. During a seminar at Smurfit Kappa Benelux, OMRON spoke about functional safety. Their ideas were exactly what we had in mind.

Following this, the company carried out a safety review of the folder-gluer. This was done in conjunction with OMRON, who were asked to see how the machine could be modified and upgraded to meet the latest regulations. The different legal requirements, CE approval and machine validation were key priorities for the company. Following the review, OMRON helped Smurfit Kappa Zedek develop an entirely new security concept.

Design a global solution

OMRON’s Total Safety Services solution included machine risk assessment analyzes and safety solution design. The latter consisted of analyzing the work of the operators using the machine and taking into account the maintenance plans, in order to maintain production efficiency throughout the process. OMRON also organized the remediation of the solution by delivering and installing all required electrical and mechanical components. Finally, OMRON provided a full installation and training validation, including all relevant technical documents and reports.

Key components of the new security solution included the security control solution; a trapped key system; manual control, including position sensing; and various safety elements for the different production areas and delivery belts (including emergency stop buttons and sensors).

While OMRON was the prime contractor for all aspects of the project, the installation of the electrical elements of the security solution was carried out by OMRON’s partner, MDE Automation. Smurfit Kappa Zedek’s Technical Services team took care of the mechanical part of the installation. The entire implementation was completed in four days, including validation of the solution by OMRON on the last day.

Huib van der Made continues: “One of the main challenges was to ensure that people would be able to do their jobs safely, efficiently and quickly. This meant that our workforce had to be open to new developments. OMRON Safety Services ensures that maintenance and production are part of the project team, and Smurfit Kappa Zedek’s machine operators and technical engineer were involved from the start. This ensures people can work safely and well in the new setting.

One of the important security aspects of the new solution was the incorporation of a security fence and the intelligent automated security system that was designed around it, ensuring that the gates cannot be opened during that the machine is running and the machine cannot start when two doors in two different areas are opened. open. This ensures that if people are working together in the same section, no one can enter another section at the same time. The security fence around the folder-gluer is operated by individual control buttons in each area that open and close the doors.

To operate the machine, the operator is in contact with his colleague, and they signal each other when it is time to engage the machine. It is started by pressing two buttons, which involves the use of both hands, which ensures that operators cannot come into contact with the machine during the setting process.

Enjoy the benefits of OMRON’s security solution

John Spa, Chief Operator at Smurfit Kappa Zedek, comments: “Users of this solution now have more confidence in all the safety components of the machine. They can see each other and the operations that can and cannot be carried out with the machine are now carefully regulated.

One of the reasons Smurfit Kappa Zedek chose OMRON was that they were able to act as a single solution partner – covering everything from identifying key issues to successfully implementing corrective actions. “Indeed, Huib van de Made is delighted with the new solution: “The OMRON team proved to be the perfect partner for us, as they have a strong knowledge of the regulations and a deep understanding of the technology. This allowed them to design this security solution. This meant that we could work with a single supplier who understood both safety laws and automation technology and could perform the complete machine safety cycle. »

Huib continues, “It was the first project we evaluated in this way. Thanks to this collaboration – including analysis reports and the possibility of building an action plan on how to make changes – we will be able to adapt other machines in the future to improve safety. of their operations.

“We also started the next step, which was to evaluate our corrugated cardboard machine in the same way, together with OMRON. Next year, we will continue this evaluation process by extending it to our cutting machines. We believe that we must continue to improve the safety of our machines with the help of a good partner like OMRON.

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