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The task: By producing items that come into direct contact with food, Poloplast showed the need to have highly efficient machinery that required little maintenance and guaranteed a high level of cleanliness.

The solution: In Poloplast, 35 ROBOSHOT presses are installed, models are α-S100iA (closing force 1,000 kN / 100 t), α-S300iA (3.000 kN / 300 t), S-2000iA and S-2000iB.  

 

The result: The advantages that derive from the adoption of ROBOSHOT presses are many, leading to the optimization of the time taken by the operators to clean the lines, reducing set-up times and significantly limiting the time required to start the presses.

 

Optimised resources and sustainable molding thanks to FANUC

An ice-cream cup in an ice-cream parlour, a sweet individual portion in a pastry shop, plates and cutlery at a party buffet ... There are many occasions on which Poloplast’s line of food-related plastic products have helped us to appreciate a special moment. Headquartered in Veneto, the company has been a reference for the plastic rubber industry for 25 years, the only manufacturer of a range of food packaging with a span of over 1,400 products and 230 lines of specialised articles for the ice cream, pastry and catering sectors.

POLOPLAST

Poloplast was founded in 1994 by Mr. Poser, an expert ice-cream maker who possessed a very clear and ambitious entrepreneurial vision: to design a company that would independently produce the teaspoons and cups needed, to become independent of what would later become its competitors. A 100% made in Italy reality that still exists today, strongly rooted in its territory of origin, which represents one of the excellence of our country's industry, with a global presence and scrupulous attention to every item produced. A highly innovative and young company, led today by Mr. Poser’s three children, Christian, Martina and Alice, whose average age is 33 and 60% women, who also has invested over 330 hours in training workers in the last year. 

Poloplast has obtained important certifications that attest to its constant commitment to quality, hygiene and safety: BRC PACKAGING-Grade AA and ISO9001:2015. Attention has also been paid to sustainability and the environment, with a specific "BIO" line of cups, single portions, spoons, glasses and straws that are fully biodegradable.

Poloplast is currently one of the global reference points in its field of expertise, with over 230 production lines dedicated to the molding of plastic articles for industries and activities in the food and beverage industry. The company produces 12 and a half million pieces a day, including spoons, glasses, plates, cups, cutlery, trays, risers and various types of containers dedicated to ice cream shops, pastry shops and catering services. Two plants that work to achieve this exceptional result exist: one in Motta di Livenza (TV) and one in San Stino di Livenza (VE), with 35 production lines employing a staff of 85 employees and featuring more than 800 molds. 

 
A step forward with FANUC
 
What are Poloplast’s success premises? Supply Chain Manager Christian Poser has no doubts: "Customer satisfaction always means new productions, original products and keeping up with the times, both in terms of materials and design". A customer chooses Poloplast for prompt responses, high quality as regards the production process, and the wide range of items available.
 
The key to being competitive is, therefore, in the perfect balance between quality and innovation, without forgetting a key strategic issue for all large companies today: respect for the environment and attention to a greener production. "It is fundamental for us that the machines are precise and also eco-sustainable, which is why we chose to rely on FANUC in 2005".
 
FANUC ROBOSHOT is a 100% electric injection molding press, which allows short cycle times and constant quality components. ROBOSHOT uses CNC precision technology for greater acceleration, maximum precision of movement and extremely short cycle times to produce large batches with the best repeatability. Regardless of the number of parts produced, the ROBOSHOT injection speed remains constant, ensuring very high levels of consistency and precision. It is the only press to be supplied with all electric axes and four standard servo motors with consequent direct control without inertia for maximum precision.
 
ROBOSHOT is equipped with the AI Mold Protection function, which measures the pressure on the mold and prevents the clamp from closing in the event of obstruction. Additional functions exist that protect extractors and parts of the mold from wear, thus significantly reducing maintenance costs.
 
The press is equipped with the powerful CNC 31i-B, which allows  automation to be integrated which is required on board the machine to optimise the production process of plastic parts, such as a loading and or unloading robot. Equipped with a large LCD screen and a touch panel with new iHMI  interface, the press complies with the Euromap 63 and Euromap 77 standards based on OPC UA for the optimal network connection of machines dedicated to plastic processing. 
 
Cleaning, precision, speed
 
By producing items that come into direct contact with food, Poloplast showed the need for highly efficient machinery that required little maintenance and guaranteed a high level of cleanliness.

"Cleanliness is the decisive factor that made us choose FANUC, along with speed," notes Poser. "We must have a machine that is both clean and offers high performance".

 
35 ROBOSHOT presses are installed in Poloplast, in the α-S100iA (closing force 1.000 kN / 100 t), α-S300iA (3.000 kN / 300 t), S-2000iA e S-2000iB models. The advantages that derive from the adoption of ROBOSHOT presses are many, leading to the optimisation of the time taken by the operators to clean the lines, reducing set-up times and significantly limiting the time required to start the presses.

“The main objective for our products is to ensure constant cycle times and extreme precision in terms of weight. Only with FANUC were we able to achieve both of these results".

A green vision between energy saving and eco-sustainability
 
Not just speed and accuracy. Energy saving, as well as the possibility of a green approach to molding made the difference in choosing FANUC as a press supplier. In fact, ROBOSHOT uses around 10-15% less energy than comparable electric machines and up to 70% less compared to comparable hydraulic machines, thanks to intelligent energy recovery and FANUC's excellent servo technology.

Decidedly ahead of its time, in 2010, Poloplast began to introduce molding using compostable materials; today, in fact, PLA is one of the most popular materials in the world for the molding of food containers and accessories. 

"At Poloplast we see a future in which the resources we use are optimised to the maximum, where the packaging is completely recyclable through the use of recycled materials and renewable resources", adds Poser. "We chose FANUC because together we share these values and goals"
 
The Venetian company offers its customers over 60 lines of compostable items, and, owing to the versatility of the FANUC presses, it did not have to change anything in the lines, thus being able to take advantage of a quick and easy change in production. 
 
Positive results recorded also in post-sales: “FANUC has always represented a strong point of respect to customers, because it offers a highly qualified and timely assistance service. Specific requests have always been answered within a few hours”.

Easy digitisation with LINKi
 
Poloplast ensures its customers the best quality of products and service. It is also a company attentive to technological innovations and ready to exploit them to become even more competitive. It was a company need to possess an integrated and connected system, in which machines, people and information systems work together to create smarter and safer products of constant quality. 
 
For this reason, it has adopted LINKi, the software that activates real-time monitoring from remote PCs and smart devices of ROBOSHOT presses, therefore providing access to a series of strategically important information on productivity, quality, traceability and advanced diagnostics for an overall 4.0 key control.
 
"Thanks to its management interface, we can constantly monitor production and obtain accurate data on the performance of each machine," explains Poser. "We control entirely data relating to energy efficiency, cycle times, speed, alarms, and maintenance performed".
 
With LINKi, Poloplast can keep the calculation of the performance of production plants under control, aware of details on the production efficiencies and quickly identifying opportunities for growth towards new objectives.
 
Thanks to the automation of data collection via LINKi, the set-up and start-up times, production times, the progress of the processes, the signaling of alarms and machine stoppages, the production cycles, the active impressions are known and transparent, for a more detailed and always updated programming. 
 
Critical issues can be reported in real time so as to take the necessary corrective actions quickly and promptly, without the need to interrupt production.
 
Another obvious advantage of using a software to collect data from the presses is that process and search traceability are activated by comparing the molding parameters of the previous productions, without any effort.
 
Data is collected promptly and accurately, and, with respect to energy, it becomes easy to accurately measure consumption and waste. 
 
The net result leads to the streamlining and standardisation of work processes for operators, with a reduction in time and errors in the start-up phase thanks to the management of mold recipes.
 
Investment in training
 
To be truly innovative, however, cutting-edge technologies are not enough: true change always starts with the people. Training, therefore, includes courses organised by Poloplast for its employees on the correct use of machinery and to introduce them to polymers. The Poloplast experience and the ease of use of FANUC solutions means that on the third day of training, employees are already operational. In this sense, the iHMI interface by FANUC, characterised by extreme intuitiveness and ease of use, has a lot to do with this.
 
Thanks to the clear display, the operators, even if inexperienced, have the possibility to learn very quickly how the machine operates, and are able to change recipes and load programs even without having had specific training. This reduces staff training time".