Cimcorp Unveils its New Dream Factory
Cimcorp’s Dream Factory fully automates the tyre manufacturing process from the arrival of raw materials (goods-in) to the loading of finished tyres for distribution.
The company enjoys an enviable reputation as a market leader in tyre factory automation. This tradition of excellence and innovation means that they supply solutions for more than 500 clients operating in almost 40 countries worldwide. Cimcorp has delivered solutions to 14 of the top 25 tyre manufacturers in the world, who manufacture 60 per cent of the world’s tyres.
Cimcorp is a pioneer in the use of gantry robotics technology throughout the production and distribution environment. The company has also developed extensive experience over the last two decades in the specialized area of tyre industry-specific control systems. The Dream Factory concept was born in 2010, where Cimcorp could offer tyre manufacturers for the first time a complete solution for the downstream tyre manufacturing process, i.e. production but not the initial warehousing of raw materials or their delivery. This solution could be adapted for both brown (upgrading existing technology) and green (new development) factory sites, and was extremely popular with tyre manufacturers.
Examples of tyre factories that have adopted the Dream Factory solution are numerous. The Cordiant Yaroslavl tyre Plant is a particularly good example of the Dream Factory concept being used on a brown field site. The factory facilities date back to 1932, and this presented a challenge for the installation of a modern production line. The challenge was successfully overcome, and the Dream Factory installation at the plant has been a great success. As Alexander Rykov, Maintenance team supervisor at the plant comments:
“The Cimcorp solution integrates all the other machines into one total solution, a seamless production line…no other Cordiant tyre plant has such a modern material handling system.”
The installation of the Dream Factory at Tigar Tires’ new plant in Serbia in 2014 is an excellent example of an installation on a green field site. The installation was achieved in a very tight schedule. The order being made at the beginning of 2014 and the first tyres coming off the production line in September that year. Creating 500 new jobs, the new plant will produce 12 million tyres by the end of 2016.
Cimcorp’s largest ever order is currently being fulfilled. Based on the Dream Factory concept, Cimcorp has been commissioned to provide a turnkey solution for automating green tyre handling at the Chinese Qingdao Sentury tyre plant. The client is implementing this solution to enable increased productivity and improve product quality. As Kai Tuomisaari, vice president of sales and projects for Cimcorp explains; “total control of the whole process means that more high-quality tyres are produced. Smaller buffers and 100% availability of green tyres at curing presses increase the yield dramatically.”
Cimcorp is excited to announce that the Dream Factory concept has seen further development and enhancement that is both innovative and practical for clients. This new Dream Factory solution will be launched officially at the tyre Technology Expo in Hanover in February 2016.
Cimcorp’s acquisition by warehouse management and distribution specialist Muratec in 2014 has enabled the addition of key upstream components to the Dream Factory concept. Muratec’s warehousing and transportation technologies have been fully integrated with Cimcorp’s systems to provide seamless data access throughout the entyre manufacturing process, with a user-friendly interface for operators.
In the past, the handling of raw materials and partially completed tyres was badly automated in tyre factories. The key headache faced by plant operations managers was how to streamline the material flow to minimize buffering and to maximize production efficiency.
Kai Tuomisaari, the company’s vice president of sales and projects, notes that “Cimcorp’s Dream Factory enables full control of the entyre plant for the first time, from ‘goods in’ to the distribution of finished tyres to customers.” It allows for materials to be traced at any point in the production process, which enables swift problem solving and minimises material wastage as any fault can be quickly traced and rectified. Each element in the tyre production process is controlled by Cimcorp’s powerful software, a combination of its Warehouse Control Software (WCS) and Manufacturing Execution System (MES).
Cimcorp’s proven gantry robot technology facilitates handing, buffer zone storage and picking, and the specialized software not only provides total control of the manufacturing process at each stage, but also provides real-time data for production and inventory management. All warehousing and materials handling systems are fully integrated to enable seamless operation, and output can be adjusted so that finished tyres are delivered to the loading bay to optimize the efficiency of truck loading (tyres to be delivered first arriving for loading last). The key benefits being that truck loading times can be scheduled more precisely and waiting times shortened, enabling logistics cost savings and greater efficiency.
The logistics software and robotics provide 100% availability of raw materials, compounds, components, green and finished tyres at each point in the manufacturing process. This automation and tracking means smaller buffer stores and reduced WIP (Work in Process). It also enables optimum utility of the most valuable process machinery, such as building machines and curing presses. Dream Factory can enable 100% efficiency of key line machinery.
Dream Factory enables an optimized layout design which utilizes 50% less floor space than conventional solutions. This allows for a 50% saving in materials handling capital investment. With Dream Factory, less is more.