ABUS HB systems used by manufacturer of machines for packaging boxes
“Passion, innovation, and commitment—this is how we see our business.” This is the motto of José Boix, the founder of the company Boix Maquinaria (www.boix.es) with headquarters in San Isidrio (Alicante), in the southeast of Spain. Boix Maquinaria is one of the world leaders for machines used for forming, folding, and closing of boxes made of corrugated cardboard or of solid fibre board.
The company originated in a small workshop in Elche where the company founder—supported by his wife—started producing parts used to repair machines for making shoes. The success story of Boix Maquinaria began in 1973 with the foundation of the company José Boix Jaén: Next to headquarters at San Isidrio, where all machinery is produced, there are five daughter companies now in Mexico, Chile, in China and in the Netherlands as well as in the US. Based on this distribution network being engaged in selling machinery and their spare parts as well as customer support and after sales service Boix Maquinaria is able to serve customers worldwide. About 7,500 machines are currently in operation on all five continents in well over 80 countries.
A cardboard box for the transport of fruit, vegetables or any other product seems to be a quite simple product, but appearances can be deceiving. Such a cardboard box is the result of complex production processes consisting of precisely defined sequences of diverse mechanical and pneumatic movements in the box erectors as well as the injection of adhesives to glue things into place. Box erectors may be integrated directly into the production line of the customers: this will help save costs as to staff, required storage areas, and logistics as it will not be necessary to transport empty cardboard boxes. Boix Maquinaria is not limited to producing machinery for the production of cardboard boxes but also makes folding and gluing machines. The customers can choose between different models and performances of each machinery type depending on their own in-house requirements. The highest performing Boix machine is capable of folding up to 4,000 cardboard boxes per hour. Boix Maquinaria also offer their customers different machinery to go with the machines for the production of cardboard boxes such as stacking units and prefeeders as well as different roller conveyors for speedy transport of the finished cardboard boxes.
A good example of convincing design
“Passion, innovation, and commitment” are a mind-set that Boix Maquinaria are also looking for in their suppliers for example when it came to optimising the internal transport processes. The production plant where the machines are produced before they are sent out all over the world boasts a production area of 16,000 square metres. The material handling system Boix Maquinaria rely on was supplied by ABUS. The team of ABUS Grúas, the Spanish daughter company of ABUS Kransysteme GmbH, undertook the analysis of the material and production flow at Boix Maquinaria and offered their technical assistance with this project. The solution saw a made-to-measure suspended rail system installed: the ABUS HB system which is a modular system consisting of standard components with a load capacity of 2 tonnes maximum.
Why the HB system was chosen
During the projecting phase when the remodelling of the existing production was considered Boix Maquinaria examined several options for the optimised transport of parts required during the assemblage of the machinery. Given the low height of the production plant the short-list included the ABUS underslung EOT crane EDL. However, in the end Boix Maquinaria decided for the ABUS HB system in view of its design, its modularity, its adaptability as to later modifications, and its ease of use for the crane operators.
Two identical HB systems were chosen for the two assembly lines. Each of these crane systems consists of crane tracks that are 70 metres long and a double girder crane ZHB with safe working loads of 1,000 kg and 2,000 kg respectively and both feature electric cross and long travelling. The ZHB cranes are characterised in particular by their high lifting capacities combined with favourable lifting heights as the chain hoists are installed between the crane girders.
The first crane which is able to lift loads of up to 1,000 kg is used to feed the machine chassis into the assembly line by lifting the chassis onto a platform on which it moves through the entire assembly process with the help of rails. This assembly line is divided into five sections precisely planned and furnished by Boix’s engineers. The second crane which has a lifting capacity of 2,000 kg lifts the ready assembled machines off this platform and transports it to the dispatch area. It is also in this area that the machines are programmed in accordance with customer requirements. In addition to their main lifting functions in the assembly line the HB systems are flexibly used for other occasional transport tasks.
Considerable increase in efficiency
Using the HB systems led to considerable increase in efficiency in the production: today one crane operator can feed a component weighing about 40 kg into its central place in the machine. Previously this task would have required four staff to place this component into its precise position.