Piling & De-Piling Lines for Fibrecement Production
Founded in 1905, Etex is one of the principal manufacturers of fibrecement, gypsum and insulation products in the world. The company operates in 45 countries all over the world, and counts in its portfolio leading commercial brands such as Eternit and Pizarreño in Argentina and Chile.
Originally, the project was aimed to renew and upgrade one fiber cement panel and siding production plant located in Argentina, but the final scope ended into a global cooperation that included various production plants among South America.
The objective of the project was to increase the production capacity of Etex plant in Argentina. Once Biele presented the technical solution, Etex decided also to extend the solution and apply it in its plant in Chile. So, in the end, the project turned from a piling and de-piling line for a single plant in Argentina, to also a de-piling line for a plant in Chile, both finished in 2018.
Regarding the Piling Line, the complexity of the solution lied in the productivity it should provide to Etex. In this line, fibre cement panels are cut and then stacked thanks to a high-performance portal that works both with high speed and extreme accuracy.
Concerning the De-Piling Line, the solution developed by Biele was completely disruptive. It was the only De-Piling line in the market that worked completely automatic (all the existing De-Piling lines need some manpower in sense of operators separating the fibercement panels).
This innovative automation was possible thanks to a “bond breaker massage machine” that allowed separation between panels in a fully automatic way. The pioneer De-Piling Line ensured higher output and yields, as well as a fully automatic process that avoided operators physical interventions on the production line.
Javier Vilariño, General Director of Etex Argentina, stated that “the 250 million pesos investment for the facilities upgrade was not only held in the stipulated time, but there were also no accidents of any kind during the execution of the work”. He adds that “this investment will allow us to increase production by 50% in this first stage of production capacity and obtain higher quality products with the aim of accessing foreign markets”.
According to Miguel Palmero, Head of Etex Engineering, “This project has represented a change in Etex’s technological strategy, which has brought us excellent operational results. It has been Biele’s first project in Fiber Cement for Etex and they have demonstrated their capacity for efficient work and their high internal level of demand, adapting to all the requirements that we have had in the project”.