Date: Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Croatian plastic film manufacturer looks to reduce occupational hazard while increasing productivity

Muraplast d.o.o. in Kotoriba, Croatia, is the leading producer of polyethylene blown film in Croatia and the southeastern European region with an annual production capacity of 20,000 tonnes and employing more than 230 people. The company has been in business since 1989, and its main product is extruded polyethylene tubular blow film, mainly used for the packaging of beverages, food and industrial applications.

New internal efficiencies needed

Muraplast needed to solve problems in production logistics, primarily remove the need for heavy lifting by humans. The product, polyethylene film, comes off the production line in heavy rolls, and employees are exposed to occupational health hazards involved in the loading and unloading of the rolls.

Other challenges were how to speed up production and how to cope with the shortage of manual labour due to young people increasingly opting for higher education rather than factory jobs.

Having become familiar with the L4MS initiative, Davor Ujlaki, Chief Executive, enrolled Muraplast in the programme.

“My expectation was that L4MS will solve logistics problems in production in a way that we receive a ready-to-use solution for our production environment that has lots of problems,  including lack of space.”

 

Automation increases productivity, reduces error and hazards

The production efficiency goal of using new, AGV-based (Autonomous Ground Vehicles, robotized transport units) goods transport for moving one type of product on two lines is a calculated productivity increase of 11 per cent.
 
In addition, the automation will tackle the occupational health risks, such as wrist, arm and back problems, through eliminating much of the manual labour, while automated roll weighing will reduce human error.
 

ROI potential

“I’m looking forward to a good solution at the end. As far as profitability is concerned, it looks like the investment will have a rather long payback time. An alternative investment could be in direct production machinery. But the benefits of no lifting, no manual labour and company image can be beneficial to cover the expense”, says Mr Ujlaki.

Automated indoor logistics is the future

Characterising himself as a very conservative planner, Mr Ujlaki says he thinks the experiment will be successful but that he still hasn’t got the whole picture. Nevertheless, he is convinced that automation will have a positive effect on productivity.

“This is definitely the next big thing. I strongly believe in the future with automated logistics but I don’t know if the future is now or a few years from now. It all depends on what the solution in the end will look like.”

 

Main benefits of the experiments

  • Reduce occupational health hazard involved in lifting of heavy objects
  • Faster production, coupled with more accurate, better resource allocation
  • Counteract shortage of labour for manual jobs

See details of the pilot on the L4MS project website.

More information:

Davor Ujlaki
Chief Executive
Muraplast

Want to join L4MS? Manufacturing companies looking to automate their intra-factory logistics using advanced technology can apply  to L4MS OPEN CALL by 30th Nov at l4ms.eu.
We provide equity-free funding up to €250k

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