Automation and reliability: a winning combination

Industries Ling Inc. is a company which specializes in the manufacture and printing of cartons for the food, beverage and feminine hygiene industries. This Québec company, situated in Warwick, went into business 50 years ago. It was taken over by RockTenn 30 years later, and the plant now employs 440 people.

Operations at Industries Ling include various stages: cutting paperboard, printing boxes, cutting out and embossing boxes, pre-folding and pre-gluing boxes, as well as palletizing and load securing. This final stage is carried out using four robotic palletizers, an automatic pallet dispenser and a stretch wrapper. The automation of operations at Industries Ling took place over three separate periods: the end of the 1990s, 2002, and 2009. The plant manager, Serge Vallée, told us: “The need for automation arose in 1999-2000, and the objectives were to reduce costs due to human manipulation errors and increase production. Per shift, we needed six people to palletize to equal the automated production rate, which also led to a higher level of error!”

Today the error factor is eliminated thanks to the double optical barcode check. Industries Ling chose to do business with FANUC Robotics for the installation of the robotic palletizers, and FANUC chose GescoFAB to design and install the conveyor system. For the second stage of automation in 2002-2003, satisfied with the products and service of the first stage, Industries Ling decided once again to do business with GescoFAB to provide a complex, tailor-made sorting and conveyor system. The main selection criteria were the immediate efficiency of the equipment and long-term reliability. “We want quality equipment even if we have to pay a little more. Everything must work well right from the start and have a long lifespan. Our large-scale production runs 24 hours a day; it can’t stop!” A few small problems occurred when the system was installed but “GescoFAB was able to adapt and carry out the necessary modifications”, like the addition of a brake to solve an accumulation problem.

Then, in 2009, GescoFAB was once again chosen to design and install a semi-automatic palletization system. They are now the official suppliers of conveyors for Industries Ling. Mr. Vallée particularly appreciates the collaboration with GescoFAB’s team. “The team at Gesco is open-minded and willingly accepts new projects. They don’t limit themselves to their product catalogue and are open to developing tailor-made solutions for their clients. The contact is easy, the team understands our needs well and works in close collaboration with us while designing the system. Their products are also of a very high quality.”

“What I appreciate about GescoFAB is that they offer various products to suit our needs, they have engineering expertise, they carry out the installation and any repairs very quickly, and their after-sales service is exceptional.” When asked if he would recommend GescoFAB, Mr. Vallée replied: “Definitely; we already do!”

Serge Vallée
Plant Manager, Industries Ling