SCA Packaging Lombardia Srl, Arcore, Italy, is one of SCA's main production plants, producing corrugated sheets to the numerous small box factories situated in and near Milan.
The cornerstone of SCA Lombardia's operation is its BHS corrugator.
The plant, acquired by SCA Packaging in 1993, has a capacity of 400 million square feet a year, with a storage area of only 3.3 million square feet. That means the majority of the board is made to order and shipped out immediately.
Prior to the SCA acquisition, the plant, which was founded in 1973, was a box factory. Most of the plant's production is doublewall (roughly 60 percent) but also it produces B- and C-flute. Since its reopening as a sheet plant, the factory has been named the Italian headquarters for SCA Packaging.
General Manager Fabrizio Margnini and Production Manager Paolo Gramatica run the plant in three shifts, with 54 people on staff, including 27 in the production area. It steadily supplies board to about 105 box plants within a 65-mile radius. Since SCA has locations all over Europe, this plant supplies only the Italian market. It prides itself on its just-in-time delivery. "Store the board for the shortest period of time as possible," Gramatica says.
SCA Lombardia has two Signode strappers to help with shipping its finished board to Italian box plants.
Finding Its Perch
The focus of SCA Lombardia's operations is its BHS corrugator. The machine has a BHS singlefacer with a retrofitted Terdeca RVL system, supplied by Terdeca with its headquarters nearby. The system is solely on the B-flute singlefacer. The newest installation is the Fosber Master double level knife, which was installed last year.
The Marquip digital splicers were installed a little more than a year ago and have really helped, especially with its touch-screen controls, Gramatica says. "We're really pleased with them," he says.
The splicers calculate starting roll diameter and determine optimum starting brake pressure for the diameter of the roll being spliced. This improves splicing reliability for all roll sizes.
The roll stands are from Fossaluzza, another Italian supplier. The Fosber Twin slitter-scorer allows for quick changeover at maximum speeds, a feature that helps SCA do just-in-time delivery. In addition to the Fosber knife and slitter-scorer, the plant also has a Fosber Terminal stacker and a Rotary Shear. The Chaintrol doublebacker also is from BHS with a Mitsubishi 55C glue machine.
SCA Lombardia is testing a new web alignment system from Olivini, which is still in the experimental stage. Since its installation in May, it has been running smoothly, Gramatica says.
The paper rolls, which are manufactured by companies in Italy and nearby Austria, Germany and Sweden, are stored outside, because the Italian weather is so mild.
The plant has a fully-automated starch kitchen from the UK-based Amylum Group, which uses wheat starches, safe for food packaging. The starch is automatically transferred to silos to go to the corrugator.
In the storage side of the factory, the plant uses two Signode strapping systems to quickly bundle the board for delivery. To keep the production and delivery lines running smoothly, SCA has its own workshop. The full-time mechanic and electrician store all the major parts for the machinery and the trucks to keep the process running effortlessly.
The plant's simple plan to produce only what its customers need, get it to them immediately and have all the pieces to keep the puzzle in place, will help SCA Lombardia fly high for a long time to come.
SCA Lombardia's location just outside of Milan, Italy, has benefited the company not only from numerous customers in the area, but also the nearby suppliers. One of those suppliers, Terdeca, has established a close rapport with SCA. Since the plant installed a Terdeca roll system earlier this year, Terdeca uses SCA as a prime example of how well the system works.
Terdeca RVL, a peripheral heating system, was invented and patented by the company Lacaux and further developed by Terdeca. The system, introduced in 1991, is based on a concept of heat distribution in the corrugating roll. The steam, heating the roll, circulates in a series of longitudinal holes near the external surface of the roll optimizing the heat exchange where it is really needed. The RVL system can be installed on every type of singlefacer, says Marco Battoraro, Terdeca's sales manager.
SCA Lombardia retrofitted the system on its BHS singlefacer in January. The system has an inside vacuum, which allows no condensation accumulation. SCA Production Manager Paolo Gramatica says the system is very low maintenance and very clean because there is no piping going to or from the rolls.
Other system benefits include higher roll surface temperature using the same steam pressure, reduction of preheating time to a few minutes, no roll deformation at start up and after every prolonged production stop, and constant high temperature over the roll's length at every speed.