Advanced and Efficient Vacuum Supply in Paper Bag Production
About GSD-VerpackungenGSD-Verpackungen was founded in Drolshagen in 1877 and has been owned by the Schürholz family since 1962. The family-owned business has specialized in the production of paper bags and paper shopping bags in small batches of 2,000 and above, and today supplies customers throughout Germany. 60% of goods produced go to discounters, supermarket chains and wholesalers, which in turn supply bakeries or butcher’s shops, for example.
Complex special processing is also available in addition to standard sizes and designs. Elaborate print designs with up to eight colours can be created using a flexographic printing process. The company currently employs a total of 160 staff. Production runs five days a week, and – depending on the department – in either two or three-shift operation. GSD-Verpackungen carries out inline production with over 50 machines. This means that paper is delivered on rollers, and passes fully-automatically through all production steps from printing, to finishing, being formed (Fig. 1). The bags are stacked up ready to go at the end of the inline systems, and can be packaged immediately.
Process of paper handling and transportMany of the machines for the paper bag production need vacuum for various processing or handling tasks. Vacuum is used to either hold or move paper, depending on the machine. In the past, a total of 22 rotary vane vacuum pumps of different sizes were in operation to generate vacuum. This was a thorn in the side of Production Manager Jörg Möller, because their heat emissions made the production hall hot and this worsened working conditions, particularly in summer months. It also meant high noise levels. The rotary vane vacuum pumps used were predominantly dry-running. This means they don’t use any oil for cooling and lubrication but were equipped with self-lubricating carbon vanes. Their abrasion released a fine carbon dust into the air, which was deposited around the vacuum pump. Moreover, they need to be replaced regularly, which was associated with high costs. Spare vacuum pumps always had to be ready for use in order to prevent lengthy production downtimes, as nearly all vacuum pumps were in operation throughout the production time, and each of them was in operation for an average of 4,000 hours per year. Jörg Möller was particularly aware of the issues with the aspect of energy consumption of the vacuum pumps.
Dr.-Ing. K. Busch GmbH then created a completely new concept for generating the vacuum for all production machines on all five inline systems. Production Manager Jörg Möller was so impressed by the concept that a centralised vacuum supply from Busch with five MINK claw vacuum pumps (Fig. 2) has been in operation since October 2016.
The benefits were clear even in the first few months after the centralized vacuum system was installed: no noise emissions or indoor air pollution from carbon dust around the workstations in the production areas.
Fig. 2: Centralized vacuum system from Busch with MINK claw vacuum pumps. Source: Busch Vacuum Solutions.
Fig. 3: Cutaway of a MINK claw vacuum pump. Source: Busch Vacuum Solutions.
Production Manager Jörg Möller has succeeded in implementing a highly economical and reliable vacuum supply solution for his plant.