UTIT’s Palmo Speedy Shuttle cone palletizer installed at TRC Candiani’s Malvaglio
based TRC Candiani is one of Europe’s
most important denim manufacturers. Since the end of the 1960s, the company has demonstrated
continuous growth, which culminated in a new spinning and weaving mill in Malvaglio, Italy. The
facility opened in October 2003 after a 19-month construction period. TRC Candiani occupies a total
production area of 95,000 square meters (m2) — 65,000 m2 at the Robecchetto mill and 30,000 m2 at
Malvaglio — and in 2004 produced 35 million meters of denim.
Italy-based UTIT Wagner Automation S.p.A. provided the automation systems adopted by TRC
Candiani for a ring spinning expansion at the Robecchetto mill (1997 to 1998) and at the new
TRC Candiani has invested for years in its operation and has carved out a niche in the
high-end denim market. The company has focused on quality and flexibility to provide customers with
the necessary product within the required time frame.
According to Gianluigi Candiani,
Ph.D., president, TRC Candiani, the secret of a company’s success lies not in transferring one’s
know-how to cheap workers in low-labor-cost areas, but in enhancing know-how at home by investing
in the automation of heavy and repetitive jobs, and changing one’s own workers from production
personnel to quality system managers.
Choosing a supplier capable of providing automation systems to contribute to this growth, in
terms of views and know-how, is important. Because of previous successful installations, UTIT has
become the perennial supplier of choice for TRC, as well as a partner.
Design simplicity, ease of management, low operational cost and low investment cost were the
guidelines followed by UTIT in designing the automation for the Malvaglio mill, according to Sergio
Vandolfi, responsible for UTIT’s textile division. These concepts already had been largely
experimented with in TRC Candiani’s previous projects, and here they have been refined by new
technical, simpler and less expensive solutions.
At the Malvaglio spinning mill, 700 spools per hour are handled. The intermediate yarn
warehouse has four planes and 60 channels. Each channel has a capacity of 12 pallets therefore the
warehouse simultaneously stocks 60 articles and 720 pallets.
Areas with automated intermediate package transport include: raw cotton bale handling from
the storehouse to the withdrawal and the return of empty pallets; transportation of full spools to
the spinning frames and empty spools on the reverse path; package take-up and palletization;
loading, management and unloading of the yarn storehouse; cone transportation from the yarn
storehouse to weaving, warpers and loading bays for outside weaving; and management of empty
Spider Cross, a quiller’s new servicing system, simplifies the introduction of the full
spool trains and the removal of empty spool trains. Its implementation alone eliminated 250 train
control units, 250 pneumatic pistons and 250 pilot valves for the switch opening and closing.
Other new equipment includes a train-like package transport system (instead of a conveyor
belt system), and the introduction of the AGV system for handling the package pallets downstream of
the yarn storehouse.
According to Candiani, manufacturers
wishing to continue producing textiles in Italy should shift to product of higher added value in
which the weight of such “Italian”values as culture, creativity, expertise, entrepreneurship and
perseverance is greater.
Value added should be increased not only on the product, but also on market service with
enhanced flexibility and on-time delivery. All components of the company should contribute to the
network operation ensuring maximum productivity and value-added possibilities. This is what TRC
Candiani and UTIT tried to create when building the Malvaglio plant — an experience that has
certainly enriched both companies.