Dopla, one of Europe's major producers of plastic tableware and disposable food containers, has chosen Robuschi technology to uphold the high standards required by the market. In fact, by installing the new ROBOX screw Vacuum - WS 65/2V/3F compressor unit it has guaranteed the utmost efficiency whilst simultaneously reducing power and water consumption.
Dopla is an Italian manufacturer of plastic tableware and disposable food containers and one of the leading names in Europe, In line with their strategy of constant improvement Dopla recently installed the new Robuschi ROBOX screw WS 65/2V/3F vacuum compressor unit in its Treviso factory.
There were several reasons behind this choice. Firstly, it was necessary to replace the old vacuum pumps installed on the company's thermoforming systems. This called for a solution not only capable of improving the performance of the production lines but also simultaneously ensuring greater efficiency. The previous system configuration required a vacuum pump on every thermoforming machine. “Our initial idea” says Antonio Bergo, head of the Dopla production department, “was to install systems with either oil or water pumps.” This idea was soon abandoned. The vacuum screw compressor technology proposed by Robuschi seemed the most efficient solution straight away. Instead of producing compressed air, this compressor produces vacuum. The results are considerable and perfectly suit the needs of our type of production. This new technology therefore guarantees a high level of vacuum and enables us to make significant savings.”
The line configuration also changed. Whereas previously there was a vacuum pump for each of the six thermoforming machines, the Robuschi solution now allows us to have just one centralised vacuum pumping system.
This has led to considerable advantages in terms of savings. “Installing the new system helped us to drastically reduce consumption,” continues Bergo. “For instance we can save a huge quantity of water per year (50% less) and, with regards electricity, we've seen that the overall consumption of the old pumps was far higher than that of the new ROBOX screw WS 65/2V/3F compressor unit, and the savings are more than 30%. In addition, we've decommissioned a chiller unit used to cool the service liquid of the liquid ring pumps, and this has meant further energy advantages and more simple system management. Considered together, all these factors have helped us to achieve major results, especially bearing in mind the high-energy costs in Italy compared with most of our European competitors, that inevitably have a marked effect on the competitiveness of Italian companies. But the new compressor unit has offered another considerable advantage for Dopla - an extremely constant vacuum degree of around 300 mbar(a).
"Our strong belief in sustainability was a major factor when it came to choosing the most efficient technology, hence the choice falling on Robuschi. As a matter of fact, being a force to be reckoned with in one's field of operation also implies being aware of the greater responsibility bestowed on you by your partners and customers. This responsibility calls for carefully weighed choices, even when it comes to plant engineering technology. “We constantly invest in sustainability research” adds the head of the Dopla production department, “striving to improve both in terms of the volumes to be transported (reducing the load space and weight of our goods as far as possible so as to limit the number of vehicles on the road) and the implementation of a consumption reduction policy. Sustainability isn't just about reducing packaging and transportation; it covers each and every aspect of company life. That's why even the tiniest consumption factor is examined and assessed.”
A step by step approach to greater environmental, social and economic responsibility. The efficiency of the new ROBOX screw compressor unit played a major role in this respect. “These results will definitely boost our company's image, as we can prove to the market that we're in a position to offer our customers added value besides the actual finished product.” This aspect is receiving more and more attention not only on the international markets but also in Italy, where the first steps are being taken to increase the awareness of this matter. “We're trying to offer our customers alternative solutions compared with the conventional suppliers” Bergo added. “As a matter of fact, the main distribution chains we work with are asking for certain parameter compliance.”
The new WS 65/2V/3F was installed in steps. The entire project, from conception to start-up, took around two months. Firstly, Dopla was one of the first companies to try out the new solution, successfully testing the compressor unit prototype on its own lines. The technology was tested free of charge at the factory, with the aid of temporary connections. Fixed lines were only created after verifying that the company's production needs were being fully met, and the compressor unit was permanently connected to the thermoforming machines.
“It was a gradual process” clarifies Bergo. “First we connected three lines and then we progressively disconnected the other pumps and connected the last machines to the new pumping unit, ultimately connecting a total of six thermoforming machines as mentioned earlier.
And all this was done without ever interrupting production. This is when we started noticing the considerable savings we were obtaining in terms of water and electricity.”
Dopla benefited from the maintenance point of view too. “The maintenance interventions required by the pumping unit are truly minimal, so we can easily manage the scheduled checks during production downtime, despite having just one compressor unit. In any case, we are considering the purchase of a second spare unit to replace the current one, should the need arise.”
“Next May will mark two years since the start-up of the system,” Bergo added, “and we're really satisfied with the partnership with Robuschi. They proved their helpfulness right away, providing constant assistance during the entire installation process and closely following all our specific needs. This allowed us to calibrate the machine precisely to suit our requirements. The line is now complete, but we want to evaluate the possibility of mounting an inverter that will allow us to manage energy consumption according to the needs that arise on the production line, with the aim of boosting the end results even more.”
Dopla had already successfully installed Robuschi technological solutions like PD blower packages (ROBOX evolution series) in its Treviso factory in the past. “These solutions included three blower units for raw plastic material pneumatic conveying (polystyrene and polypropylene used for manufacturing our products) to the silos. Generally speaking, our machines are tested and have never shown any problems but, in any case, Robuschi has always been ready with the answers we needed, and we're confident that this collaboration will continue in the years to come.”