Kurtz Ersa Magazine

EPS box production

EPS box production at its best!

At the beginning of 2017 KNAUF INDUSTRIES, one of the leading international processors of EPS, presented Kurtz with the following ambitious requirement: to achieve a production capacity of 22,500 EPS boxes per day or four million per year with only one shape moulding machine – and automatic setting of different box heights. In addition, bulk packs were to be produced depending on box height, with every stack to be closed with a box base at the top and bottom. The finished stacks were to have adhesive tape – printed with the production data – applied on two sides and then be loaded onto transport carts according to prescribed stacking configurations up to three metres in height. In terms of economic efficiency, steam consumption was to be reduced to a minimum. At the end of the day this translated into fully automated production ready for shipping – a real challenge!

Kurtz GmbH – challenge accepted

Top performance at all levels: minimum energy consumption, shortest cycle time, provision of ready-to-ship containers, low management costs
Top performance at all levels: minimum energy consumption, shortest cycle time, provision of ready-to-ship containers, low management costs

“In order to achieve the ambitious targets, we decided in favour of a Kurtz Shape Moulding Machine with high-end equipment as well as for the CoreLess technology from Doroteo Olmedo S.L,” says Stephan Gesuato, Sales Manager for Kurtz Particle Foam Machines, who has been working for the company for more than 30 years. There was an exciting period of development ahead for the team, made up of members from Kurtz GmbH, tool manufacturer Doroteo Olmedo S.L and KNAUF INDUSTRIES. The requirements listed above demanded a perfectly tuned system comprising machine, tool and automation system. This last item was developed and produced by colleagues from Conline GmbH.

We are looking forward to further exciting challenges in the field of particle foam machines and advanced automation solutions. What are your challenges? Let us join forces to push particle foam processing to the next level!


Innovative ideas as the basis for success

“You have to imagine a CoreLess tool as being a skeleton reduced to a minimum mass that reacts extremely sensitively to influences from process technology. The main task was to master process control in a reproducible way,” explains Stephan Gesuato. First of all, a CoreLess prototype tool was built, which then went through several series of trials on a current Kurtz test machine of the latest generation. Mechanical, control-related and process-optimised measures on machine and tool led to perfect results during the long-term tests. Thus the foundation was laid for the high-efficiency system comprising shape moulding machine and lightweight tool.

Automation solution: flexible, extremely fast, space-saving

Thanks to the fully automatic adjustment of the tool in the shape moulding machine, the customer  is in a position to gradually set the box heights and produce these fully automatically depending on the production order. The space-saving robot solution from the Conline automation specialists from the Kurtz Group is closely oriented to the production capacity of the shape moulding machine. With a production capacity of around 1,100 boxes per hour, these have to be turned and sorted, then have printed adhesive tape applied to both sides. Special linear and rotating axes for extremely fast sorting and rotation of the boxes produced as well as special vacuum suction cups for the handling robot grippers make up a high-performance substructure which meets the high-speed automation requirements.

Smooth production  in 3-shift operation

Depending on the stacking configurations and stack size, the containers produced are prepared on transport carts and can be passed on to Logistics by the system operator. Two mutually separated transport carts in the working area of the robot and safety area of the system make cart replacement possible during production. According to current information from the operating company, the system is running in 3-shift operation and delivering the promised production capacity with consistently good quality and low energy consumption. Kurtz has thus met the requirements completely and even exceeded them, because we have achieved the highest goal: customer satisfaction. We are very proud of this and would like to extend our thanks to all project partners involved.


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