Where only a few years ago it was just a plot of land in the industrial zone of Cartagena, Colombia, there now resides one of Latin America’s leading companies for processing tuna fish. To build this facility, Seatech International Inc. constructed large docking facilities for its fishing fleet and production buildings for processing the tuna and producing their own cans with sanitary ends. As the market moved to cans with easy-open ends (EOE) and the production demands increased, Seatech became dissatisfied with purchasing ends and saw the need to begin manufacturing their own ends.
Seatech management came to Stolle with the following information: they wanted to produce 211 and 307 diameter ends at a volume of 11.4 million 307 ends per month and 8.7 million 211 ends per month. They already had a shell press and asked Stolle to incorporate it in the new end line layout. Their two other requirements were to produce the new ends from double reduced (DR) steel material, and layout the new end line within the space that would be available in the existing plant building. Stolle provided Seatech with a turnkey solution to constructing their new end line, including the design and engineering services (for all the machinery and a line control package), all line equipment (both from Stolle and partnering suppliers), installation, start up and commissioning, and employee training.
Stolle engineers obtained dimensions from the partnering equipment suppliers, and designed the new EOE line layout to fit the designated floor space and accommodate the utilities that would power the line. The front end of the line began with the existing shell press, followed by a Stolle Compound End Liner, a Pressco Vision System, and a Nordson Compound Drying Oven. To ensure that the customer was able to bag off and inventory lined shells, Stolle incorporated 1-lane in and 2-lane out manual rollover station. This feature allows the customer to feed the downstream equipment when the liners or shell equipment are not operating due to a coil change over or cleaning and maintenance. Beyond the rollover station, the new line’s back end equipment included a Stolle Mega 2 EOE Conversion Press (integrated with a tab stock uncoiler and Sencon light tester) and a Stolle PostOp post repair system.
About 3 months after the project was initiated, parts from the various suppliers began arriving at Stolle’s plants. 8 to 10 weeks later, Stolle had assembled all the new equipment and completed run-offs to ensure it worked properly. After the buy-offs, the machines were crated and shipped to the Seatech facility in Cartagena. When the equipment arrived at the Seatech plant, Stolle’s installers arrived and coordinated with the riggers, electricians, plumbers and other suppliers to install it according to the engineering plans.
Upon completing the equipment installation, the Stolle technicians helped the initial start-up of the line, then stayed to make sure it was running at its full rated capacity. During the line installation and start-up, the Stolle technicians worked with Seatech’s employees to thoroughly train them on the operation and maintenance of the equipment. In just over 3 months from uncrating the equipment, the line was up and running at over 85% efficiency. During that time, the customer demonstrated their capability by changing the entire line over from end size to the other.
Seatech management was very pleased with their decision to allow Stolle to design and install their first easy-open end line, and they plan to work with Stolle on other can and end line installation and refurbishment projects in the future.