Magazine December 2016

The textile world at a glance: From a look back at ITMA to Industry 4.0

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Well-elaborated dispenser system for higher efficiency

In many companies worldwide the administration and reasonable and efficient use of the operating material presents an area with quite some room for improvement. The Portuguese sock producer Fiorima has already gone a step ahead in this direction – with the application of a well-elaborated dispenser system for needles and other spare parts.

Fiorima S.A., Frossos

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The Portuguese sock producer Fiorima is a company where great importance has been attached to quality and innovation right from the beginning – not only in terms of their own products but also concerning internal processes. State-of-the art technology is applied in all areas, always striving for excellence. For example, yarn is delivered to the machine by robots. In the same way, the socks that are coming out of the machine are transported to the next step. The company underlines its claim for perfection by the implementation of management systems and their subsequent integration and international certification in the areas of quality, environment, occupational health, and social accountability. During our latest visit to Fiorima, their automatic spare parts machine, specially adapted to meet their demands, caught our eyes.


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Improved control of stocks, avoidance of errors, simplification of processes, optimization of consumption, and motivation of the employees are only some of the benefits that Fiorima could observe since the introduction of the new system. Apart from that, the automatic spare parts machine stands out by its simple handling:

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The operator identifies himself at the automat by means of a personalized card. Then appears a selection exclusively of those machines the relevant operator is responsible for. By means of the touch screen the operator selects the machine for which he needs spare parts. The display then shows only the spare parts that are available for the selected machine. Next to the material code, the display also shows a picture of the item and gives the brand of the producer. By the example of the needle, the operator only just has to make the choice between the high butt or the low butt needle. To prevent errors in the initial selection of the machine, the automat also shows a picture of the relevant machine. The operator confirms the selection and enters the required quantity. And that's all it needs – The dispenser issues the desired spare parts.

At any time

The advantages of the automatic spare parts dispenser are convincing:

  • The automat is in service 24 hours a day. This means, the operators can get their spare parts at any time. Even an unexpected demand during the night shift is not a problem. This helped to significantly reduce machine downtime.
  • As soon as the minimum stock that is defined for each item is reached, a message appears in the display, so that the machine can be refilled in time. This is done by some few, specially trained employees who are responsible for the loading of the spare parts machine.
  • The integrated software collects information that enables a detailed analysis of the spare parts consumption per machine and operator. This allows, for example, to identify consumption peaks of critical materials, necessary machine maintenance, etc.
  • Due to the simple handling and menu-controlled selection of the desired spare parts, errors can be practically avoided.
  • Another very important positive aspect that comes along with the automatic spare parts machine is the fact that the spare parts consumption could be clearly reduced. The operators with the lowest spare parts consumption are honorably mentioned at the black board every month.

Also Groz-Beckert offers its customers cooperation in the development and implementation of innovative ideas. Our Technology and Development Center provides the necessary infrastructure for this. If you are interested, our experts will be pleased to give you advice.