Working for more than 50 years in the AFH sector, GH Production is a subsidiary of Global Hygiene Group, a French group specializing in tissue products. The company has developed many business opportunities that have allowed it to expand its market and close 2021 with a turnover of 25 million Euros. The opening of the first tissue mill in Grenoble in 2020 and an ongoing project for a new integrated site in Begles, have stimulated the company to invest in more efficient and automated lines, to follow the dynamic of the group. The customer’s need on this project was to complete the automation of two converting lines that dealt with different products and whose end-of-line was managed manually. One, in particular, dealt with heavy products and, for both, the spaces available were limited.
At the beginning of its history, MacDue produced only standalone machines. During the last ten years, we established ourselves as leaders in the industrial field for complete lines too. We built a strong reputation on this offer but decided to increase our effort to cover every aspect of product handling, even just end-of-line. Having a single point of contact for the entire system has significant advantages for the customer but poses new challenges to the supplier company: potential concerns and extra variables that need an adequate structure and reliable after-sales service. The challenge we set ourselves years ago was to offer our customers “turnkey” lines, up to the stretch wrapper. The addition of end-of-line to our offer is why we were ready to answer GH Production’s request. We provided the customer with two palletizing islands: one consisting of a robot for boxes and bundle, and the other of two robots, all grippers are developed by MacDue, which can handle display-type bulk packs and bundles. The island includes an automatic pallet picker, the management of the half pallet, and the application of the layers. We designed these islands to interface with the customer’s centralized wrapper where LGV vehicles carry the finished pallets.
Supporting customers by developing automatic packaging machines that can handle a wide range of products
The supply of custom grippers for industrial and consumer products, depending on the island, was the focus of the project. Very often the end-of-line treats the products too little delicately, causing damage and unacceptable stress for the industrial and consumer sector, especially during the compression and pick & place phase. The challenge is to manage palletization by reducing the impact of handling on products, without decreasing the efficiency and speed of the line. The solutions that we have developed in MacDue to meet these needs are a custom gripper and software for intuitive management of the island that allows quick changes of the pallet configuration.
Thanks to this project, GH Production has managed to increase the efficiency of the two lines, which have become fully automatic, despite the space limitations. An extra request from the customer was not to stop production: through the checkout in our factory and the customer training in MacDue, we made the startup of the lines much easier; furthermore, we reduced the shutdown time to a minimum because we coordinated with the production department to carry out the project with the lines almost always in operation. We began working with GH Production back in 2018 with the supply of a single machine. During the years, we grew our business together and this exciting project marks a further step towards an even closer and lasting collaboration.