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Atlanta UK develops innovative reel wrapping solution for James Cropper

Paper Solutions Print Solutions


Packaging technology and machinery specialist, Atlanta UK, has recently provided a bespoke automated wrapping solution for the James Cropper Group.


James Cropper approached Atlanta UK with a request to cocoon stretch wrapped paper reels from a new reel winding process at its Burneside site. The objective was to handle various reel lengths up to 2500 mm, reel diameters up to 1500 mm and weights up to 3500 kgs at rates of up to 22 reels per hour. As the product is often exported, the cocoon wrap process had to fully enclose the reels to create a secure, protective and completely dust and waterproof wrap.


Atlanta UK partnered with SCM Handling to provide a solution that met the project's requirements. In collaboration with James Cropper, SCM developed a comprehensive reel handling system for the project by integrating an Atlanta UK Revolution machine into the 'reel wrapper' specification. The reel handling solution includes a fully automated conveying system that transports reels from the Cropper winding machine to the stretch wrapper. During the wrapping process, the system raises and rotates the reel. After the ‘end over end’ wrapping, further automation transports the reel to a reel up-ender. A robot then selects suitable pallets and positions them under the reel as it is automatically upended.


Close mechanical and software integration was also required to ensure the SCM reel rotation system and Atlanta UK stretch wrapper operated seamlessly. For this, the company’s software engineers devised a solution that could handle the variety of sizes, plus provide an operator friendly HMI platform.



The complete system provides a robustly engineered, fully automated transfer of wound paper reels, in various sizes and quantities, to a pallet that is then cocoon wrapped for protection and waterproofing, ready for forklift truck transfer to the warehouse.


The Revolution stretch wrapper can be programmed to apply the desired number of protective wraps, and the film pre-stretch system provides high levels of film efficiency with the capability to work with modern nano and recycled content films.


Brad Ireland, engineering project manager at James Cropper, said: ‘Both Atlanta UK and the SCM team successfully delivered the required solution despite component availability challenges. The project management was clear and communicative throughout and the installation was completed on schedule.


‘We have implemented a quality control process and packaging system that matches the high standards of our products.’


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